Spirit animals 

Latyrx deviates from the expected

"Gorgeous Spirits," from Latyrx's forthcoming second album titled, helpfully, The Second Album, is pure dance-floor electronica. The track is anchored by a boom-bap hip-hop beat, but it's barely audible under a joyful outburst of bloops and squiggles. The chorus abandons hip-hop beat patterns entirely, in favor of a four-on-the-floor anthem that would get Cher up from the banquettes.

Hearing "Gorgeous Spirits" makes you realize how limited rap's sonic palette has become. More importantly, it suggests that things don't have to be that way. The track is an undeniable head-bobber in precisely the way that, say, Yeezus is not. It proves that producers can deviate from hip-hop's sometimes rigid formulae and still play in the clubs.

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The other difference between Latyrx and Kanye lies in the rapping. Latyrx members Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker are not the kind of ostentatious talents that contemporary hip hop likes. Lyrics's nasal delivery is better suited to supporting the beat than leading it, and Lateef's rhymes are dense in a way that rewards cult listening. Neither will lay claim to the title of best rapper alive, but they are innovating within the strictures of their craft.

Latyrx plays the Top Hat Fri., Nov. 1, at 10:30 PM. Doors at 9:30 PM. $13/$11 advance.


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