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Prismic Tops

(Now-Again; US: 4 May 2010; UK: 3 May 2010)

Prismic Tops is not a record without flaws. Picky listeners will like to note that many of Dimlite’s melodic progressions here are fairly predictable, and depending on your tolerance for sounds, some of the stuff here might be as grating for you as it is pleasurable for me. But I have to admit I have a soft spot for Dimlite. While Los Angeles is contemporaneously defined as the home of the merging of hip-hop and IDM known loosely as ‘The Beat Scene’, much of that noise can be traced back to Dimlite in Switzerland during the early part of the decade. After This Is Embracing in 2006, the same year Flying Lotus became the face of the brand, Dimlite retreated a little bit and became better known as a remixer, and last year stepped into the spotlight on Detroit MC Finale’s album with a shockingly earnest, experimental production on “Issues”.

Prismic Tops is not so visionary as past Dimlite projects; too often it feels like a guy working out his rust and simply proving what he can do. But my contention is that Dimlite is a fairly genius composer on the MPC (take a look at his Youtube videos), and despite somewhat simple skeletons, he lays the details on thick with this one. The more uptempo numbers like “Firevomit” and “Rump Studies” are the accessible highlights—“On the Same Picture” and “Sun-Swized Twinkles” the sorts of songs you’ll have to think a little harder about. Dimlite’s own vocals during the middle section don’t necessarily hurt the album, but an instrumental version of “Elbow Flood” proves his nonsense wouldn’t be missed, either.

Prismic Tops feels more like a warm up than a complete project, but I’d recommend it to anyone keeping up with the beat generation. New Dimlite is always a good reason to get up in the morning.


David Amidon has been writing for PopMatters since 2009, focusing on hip-hop, R&B and pop. He also manages Run That Shit on, a collection of lists and rankings of over 1,000 reviewed hip-hop albums created mostly to be helpful and/or instigating. You can reach him on Twitter at @Nodima.

Dimlite - Sun-Sized Twinkles
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