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Prismic Tops

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Album Review

Prismic Tops is a work that is befuddling. It's so left-field, although not quite to the point of being avant-garde, that it's hard to make of it what exactly it is. It's part instrumental hip-hop while also containing elements of broken beat. That doesn't stop it from being a mostly enjoyable listening experience with the caveat that you have an open mind. Backward loops abound on the opener "Kalimba Deathswamp/Kurt Feelings," a slinky work of beatsmith wizardry. Chants are present on the second half but seem to be included more as a rhythmic add-on than as truly meaningful content. The vocals are even more processed in "Sun-Sized Twinkies" and are completely indiscernible. What is being sung may hold the key to world peace... or could just be complete gibberish, depending on your state of mind while listening. "Can't Get Used to Those" is the most "normal" sounding song. Perhaps it's the melody that has you whistling along or the jaunty quasi-samba rhythm, but it's catchy. It's a continuation of more psychedelic-centered content from Now Again, a label which was nearly a soul-only sister label for its first five years of existence. Whether it's due to a saturation of the soul reissue market or the powers that be at Stones Throw/Now Again just looking to switch it up in a challenging industry, it's refreshing to see a label take chances and fight stagnation even if the results on this project are a mixed bag.

Customer Reviews

Further Off the Beaten Path

While I grew accustomed to the beat-heavy Weathers and Embracing, I found that bass-laden beats that go "bump" are not the reason why I enjoy Dimlite's arrangements. His style is eclectic, sometimes seemingly haphazard and always tugging at the strings of what I perceive to be musical norms, yet the hyper originality of his music is Dimlite's greatest asset, from instrument choices to beat arrangements to chord progressions. Prismic Tops will not impress the beat-minded fans as much as his previous work, but that doesn't mean there aren't some truly mind boggling tracks to be found. Among the dense material contained within are a few of my favorites; Kalimba Deathswamp is most reminiscent of Runbox Weathers with its droning music box, odd assortment of leads and a playful bass line. On the Same Picture is an eerie collection of jazzy vocals, echoes and harmonies over a bed of hybrid jazz/electronic trip hop. Sun-Sized Twinkles pushes the envelope with its crooning computerized vocal track, as if it was coming to terms with its own existence, intertwined with delicate beats, pianos, and a surprisingly well-placed violin solo.
Dimlite has a knack for drawing from an infinite array of sounds, sometimes making choices that shouldn't fit. But they do, and Dimitri pulls it off brilliantly yet again.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

As well as playing in the pop duo the Slapped Eyeballers and making lo-fi music as Misel Quitno, Swiss producer Dimitri Grimm makes instrumental hip-hop beats under the name Dimlite. After releasing the A/DD EP in 2003 and the full-lengths Runbox Weathers and This Is Embracing on Berlin-based label Sonar Kollektiv, Dimlite picked up respect in underground hip-hop circles and comparisons to Flying Lotus, Ras G, and several of the atmospheric beatmakers on Stones Throw's...
Full Bio
Prismic Tops, Dimlite
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Customer Ratings