Jumpin’ off of Daniel’s Rad Cliffe and into your cloaked and dope-smoked minds this week is Ostrich Breath, a most alternative of hip-hop duos.
If you’re a lover of creepy samples, stoned-out beats and a lexicon of lyrics being hurled at you faster than a college professor geeked out on cocaine in your literature lecture, then you have found yourself a real winner with these two dudes!
The group hails from Sacramento and is composed of Kurt Travis and Matt Thomas. Most popularly known for his time as the beloved former singer of Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds, Travis currently manages Esque Records and recently released two songs from his solo project. Thomas joined forces with Travis in 2013 and formed the other half of the duo while serving as tour manager for A Lot Like Birds. He currently makes beats and is a member of fellow Sacramento-based alternative hip-hop project known as Galaxy Cloak.
The group’s latest work is titled Nightmare On Immortal Elves Weed and is an aptly-named play on words based off of Wes Craven’s well-known horror film. The work is self-described as “a free mixtape of old and new songs from the last 3-4 years.” With words of advice being to “bump this album at max volume while smoking fat vapes with Gandolf.”
Ostrich Breath is an ambitious project done for the enjoyment of the art and not monetary value. Their genre is best described as sludgy turn-based wizard rap, popularized by the Workaholics dudes before they made it big and got their own show on Comedy Central.
Breath, however, is a much more polished and talented group than their comedic counterparts. I’m a big fan of their music but other scattered opinions from around the internet are mixed. Their self-titled debut full length merited comments on Reddit a few years ago such as:
“This feels like a really white version of Death Grips”
“Beats are solid, but the rest is pretty terrible”
“It’s trippy wizard rap, and I mean trippyyyy”
I feel that those comments paint an honest and accurate description. The beats are definitely rad but I can see how the rapping can be off-putting. The lyrics are not basic in the slightest as both Travis (a.k.a. The Meekest Boaster / MC Pocket T) and Thomas (a.k.a. The Mystic Fascist / Sorcery Orchestra) flex their linguistic chops and utilize poetic devices to the best of their ability. I was fortunate enough to be able to transpose a stanza below from a rare, fully-discernible section of one of their songs called “Break You Off.”
Quit wearing five panel hats
and stop fuckin’ watching Loiter Squad
I’d rather use my emergency retard repellent
and my washed up loser escape pod
Being authentic isn’t really going well for you
and besides, everyone knows you’re a fraud
I know, I know, it’s crazy
but stop saying “Oh my God”
I don’t think He would be pleased
if he knew what you were really spending so much time on
While you were twiddling your thumbs I took a trip to Saigon
Opium dens, mushroom tea, lox bagel with capers
Spawned a Totoro tattoo for you to look upon
with selective firm grips along with sentences
Dyslexic terms of two
but all I can come up with for you
is yuck ferr
Yeah, that means fuck you
I have a deep love for all things esoteric and am always pleased to find out when these guys release new music. If you’re intrigued, the roughly 17 minute EP is available as a pay-what-you-want download and can be streamed below.
Keep it hood. Keep it nerd.