October 21 finds Knife Hits continuing to support new sonic territories with Fangs, the debut album from Philadelphia hip-hop outfit Grand Mantis (pre-order now on cassette or digital through Bandcamp). Billed as "subterranean hip-hop" for fans of MF Doom, Wu-Tang, or Kool Keith, the four-piece collaboration consists of lyricist/producer Yikes the Zero, vocal baritone Osevere, DJ Skipmode, and guitarist Thaddeus Cole-Pepper.
Regarding the initial single, "This That," Yikes states, "We like to call this track the 'fat symbiote'. It's four parts working together, not in unison. A beautiful wreck." Equal parts punchy, head-nod beats interspersed with frenetic turntables and subtle dashes of glitchy electronics beneath near-constant vocal interplay, the composition likely presents mere hints of what Fangs will have to offer next month.
On working with Grand Mantis and the label's desire to explore a wider range of artistic expression, Knife Hits remarks:
"I've been friends with Yikes for probably 10 years now. We used to bartend together and we were neighbors, so we were always trading each other albums and showing each other mixes we were working on after bar shifts. I was always so stoked on what he had going on. As soon as he showed me Mantis, I knew I'd love it—and I did—so it was pretty easy to decide to work together to get this album out there. I definitely have always had it in mind to have the label refuse any genre boundaries, but that's always easier said than done when you kind of exist strongest in particular scenes. Lately, though, it's been happening naturally, and I'm glad it's finally going the way I've always seen it. We just do what we do and like what we like. Being limited by genre is a self-imposed rule that I'm not really interested in..."
Pre-order Fangs on cassette or digital via Knife Hits. Hear more from Grand Mantis on Bandcamp, and follow Yikes the Zero on Instagram. Yikes can also be found on Bandcamp, as may the Knife Hits back catalog.