With a catalog that includes beats for Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Souls of Mischief, producer Lee Bannon is no stranger to providing backdrop’s independent hip-hop’s elite. On new EP Place/Crusher, he shows how expansive and intricate his taste can get, eschewing traditional structure and the strictures of rap collaborations for something looser and, at times, more mesmerizing.
From its scattered intro to its eerie indie, Place/Crusher excites and surprises, an adventurous set that careens from airy, low-end heavy portions, to beautifully hazy, percussionless sections, to ominous, sample-dense passages, often combining the three into the sort of patchworks that don’t reveal themselves fully on first lesson. It’s a dizzying 23 minutes, running through Bannon’s hazy take on hip-hop, jungle, footwork, and house, filtering reminiscences of Massive Attack, Burial, and Clams Casino through a prism that feels like it belongs to the Sacramento-bred producer.
Place/Crusher serves as a tantalizing preview for Bannon’s debut on legendary UK label Ninja Tune, due out 12/9.