Stagnation and Woe, Exclaim! (CAN)

After the recent re-release of his first two albums as the single CD Corroding the Dead World on Clotheshorse Records, Halifax, NS-based Recyclone returns with his fourth album, Stagnation and Woe — a collaboration with CHR in-house producer and label-head soso. The melodically dark and depressing beats are the perfect accompaniment to Recyclone’s Doom Soon theories and nihilistic lyrics, made even more suitable to his anti-rapper style with clunky, clanking mechanical samples mixed into the backdrop.

Recyclone is a master at painting a bleak picture of society and the world, whether he’s discussing the dichotomy of love and sex on “Body Parts,” or the fall of mankind at the hands of technology with “The Earltown Hermit” and “Episodes of Constant Torture.” His writing brings to mind the cut-ups of Beat writer William S Burroughs, the imagery of film director David Cronenberg, and the gothic future of Warhammer 40K. Vocally, Recyclone is less rap and more spoken word, placing him in a category with Anticon artists like Sole and hometown hero Sixtoo. Still, it’s not really noticeable until final track “The Introduction,” a slamming posse cut of Halifax MCs with orthodox flows that often outshine Recyclone. Stagnation and Woe may not convert the naysayers, but it should definitely please fans of Recyclone or of experimental, leftfield hip-hop.

Thomas Quinlan, Exclaim! magazine