by Spectacular Diagnostics
Ancient Methods’ is a new album by Chicago-based producer Spectacular Diagnostics. A big bang of beatmaking matter: from cut-up jazz keys to distorted sci-fi movie dialogues. And from echoes of traditional Bollywood chants to three features by Billy Woods, ELUCID & Nosaj who, in contrast, break down traditions to shape their own.
In a Bandcamp Daily feature on Spectacular Diagnostics last year, the term “otherworldly” was coined to describe his beats on previous albums like ‘Raw Unknown,’ ‘Avant Raw,’ and ‘Raw Game.’ All part of a dense catalog since 2015 including collaborations with Quelle Chris, Jeremiah Jae, Milo, Vic Spencer, and early work with Westside Gunn.
On ‘Ancient Methods,’ the Chicago-based producer takes that otherworldly sample-fueled frontier even further, as suggested by vocal samples taken from Space Age-era cinema on tracks like “Countdown Clock,” “The Wall” featuring Nosaj of New Kingdom, and the album’s first single: “Raw Transmissions.”
“To me, the term ‘ancient methods’ is a reference to my process,” says Robert Krums a.k.a. Spectacular Diagnostics. “I still primarily sample from vinyl and physically dig for records. Even all the movie dialogue. So in some ways, I feel like a dinosaur in the way I work and approach my creative process.”
The back sleeve of each record features a short story by Brian Michael Murphy inspired by the music. As a media archaeologist, poet, and essayist himself, Murphy’s story adds an extra dimension to Krums’ own sonic layering: “Ancient Methods feels like the full evolution of my sound and my ability to craft a seamless record that tells a story,” adds Krums. “With that said, getting Armand Hammer and Nosaj as the guests set the tone. Their skill level and years mastering their craft is pretty untouchable.”
‘Ancient Methods’ drops November 26th on Amsterdam-based label Rucksack Records on vinyl and all digital platforms.
releases November 26, 2021
Produced & Mixed by Spectacular Diagnostics
Vocals recorded by Steel Tipped Dove
Mastered by Keith Kreuser
Design & Layout by Robert Krums
Liner Notes (back sleeve) by Brian Michael Murphy, Ph.D., media archaeologist, poet & essayist
Released by Rucksack Records