Mister and Curt Cataract Release Conceptual Rap Album 11 Years in the Making (premiere)

Photo courtesy of the artist

After a decade-long gestation, a collaboration between Detroit rapper Mister and UK producer Curt Cataract is bearing fruit. Hear their latest track "Holding It Up".

After a decade-long gestation, a collaboration between Detroit rapper Mister and UK producer Curt Cataract is bearing fruit. Prefacing the 12-song Approaching Land's release is third single, "Holding It Up", on which Mister and Cataract trade verses over the latter's evocative production.

Fittingly opening with a soundscape of lapping waves, the pair's silken and slinky vocals float above a fluid groove, Cataract's delivery a laid-back counterpoint to Mister's more spitfire turns. This watery vibe is no accident, with Cataract saying Approaching Land "connects a nautical theme with mental health, as the listener accompanies them on a journey navigating the hopelessness of rising water and being lost at sea."

The album — which features appearances from Hemlock Ernst (the rap moniker of Future Islands' Samuel T. Herring), Oliver Sudden, Chris Orrick, D.S. Sense, Mysdiggi, Kopelli (of Cold Men Young), and DJ Downstroke — has songs that predate the founding of beloved hip-hop duo Passalacqua, of which Mister is half.

"I've been working on this project with Curt Cataract for quite a long time," Mister said. "A lot of life has been lived between then and now, and in many ways, I'm glad it took as long as it did to release this album. Curt's production is masterful, wizardly. I think we have something really special here."

Mister and Cataract met through MySpace and began collaborating in 2008. Some of what's on Approaching Land dates to those early days and, as such, Mister said it's odd seeing a project so long in the works finally completed.

"It's an interesting feeling," he said. "I've only known this album as a work in progress. I was working on some of these songs before Passalacqua was even a concept, so to see this project finally be released is really something."

Approaching Land is available everywhere Friday, 1 March, on Cold Rhymes Records.


01. The Living Infinite

02. I'm Not the One

03. Collapse (w. Chris Orrick + Oliver Sudden)

04. Truth Serum

05. That Noise

06. Approaching Land (w. Hemlock Ernst)

07. Questions (w. D.S. Sense + Mysdiggi)

08. Thin Comfort

09. My Love Is Away

10. Rising Water

11. The Payoff (w. Kopelli)

12. Holding It Up (w. Curt Cataract)

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