New York indie-rap powerhouse Aesop Rock will end his five-year hiatus with the July 10 release of Skelethon.
His old label Def Jux retired during his break, so the self-produced Skelethon will be released via his friends in Rhymesayers. Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts, Hanni El Khatib, Nicky Fleming-Yaryan and the Grimace Federation all make guest appearances.
Aesop, also known as Ian Bavitz, gained attention for early-aught Def Jux albums Labor Days and Bazooka Tooth, which mixed just-trying-to-live everyman stories with lyrics that packed 80 tons of complex meter and bizarre imagery into 16 bars. Dude was dense and weird, but often in a heartfelt way.
Though he has not released any music under his own name since 2007's None Shall Pass, Bavitz has kept busy.
He appeared on the latest album by Felt and formed a band with folk singer Kimya Dawson called The Uncluded. Working under the name Hail Mary Mallon he made the definitely goofy old-school breakdance celebration Are You Going to Eat That? with his friends Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. (Sonic, Big Wiz and Dawson all contribute to Skelethon). He also launched the online art company 900bats.com.
Based on the tracklist below, which includes titles like "Leisureforce" and "Zero Dark Thirty," fans don't need to worry that he's gotten too normal during his Rock break.
2. ZZZ Top
3. Cycles to Gehenna
4. Zero Dark Thirty
6. Ruby '81
7. Crows 1
8. Crows 2
9. Racing Stripes
10. 1,000 O'Clock
11. Homemade Mummy
13. Saturn Missiles
15. Gopher Guts