Finally, El-P's explosive solo debut gets a proper vinyl reissue! Originally released on the Def Jux label in 2002, the album saw El Producto pushing the gritty sound of Company Flow into deeper, more personal and political territory, with a dense and noisy sound palette infused with dystopian sci-fi themes. Check out the OG Lab review from when the album was originally released:
This solo album from the former Company Flow frontman blows me away, definitely worth the wait, you can tell it took a lot of time to create. The range on here is stunning, musically and vocally. Like Cannibal Ox's El-P-produced The Cold Vein, the ambience is mostly heavy sci-fi noise, but Fan Dam is even more adventurous, with some surprisingly fast tracks ("Deep Space 9mm" and "Dead Disnee") and some slower tempos, hard drums, organs and analog keyboards with lots of effects, guitars, vocal snippets and breakdowns. Lyrically El-P is all over the place, painting pictures on some songs, battling, mimicking old school patterns or kicking his signature 1000 words per bar style on others. He even rocks the distressed voice style in a couple places, like Ghostface or Freeway. On "Stepfather Factory" a really personal song put in the form of a dystopic fantasy, he's almost just talking. DJ Abilities puts the right scratches in the right places - tricky when he needs to be, simple when it sounds good. He contributes heavily, adding to the general noisiness and chaos of the beats. Check out his breakdown of the Simian Drugs bassline on "Delorean" - nasty! Reading the liner notes, there are cameos from ten other Def Jukies, but they are mostly short choruses or ad-libs that you don't notice, with the exception of verses by Aesop & Vast. Gatefold picture sleeve 3 LP with graffiti by PHASE TWO.
- 20th anniversary reissue
- black double vinyl pressing
- housed in gatefold jacket w/ printed inner sleeves
- original release year: 2002
- music label: Fat Possum 2022
reviewed by Ayres 05/2002