Every Friday night at midnight I do the Midnight Album Feature. I take an album from my personal collection and tell you stories about the background and what the record means to me. I like to take the time to feature releases that work well as a whole, because after picking out songs all week as a producer and DJ, itâ€™s a pleasure to put an artistâ€™s work on and just let them roll.
This weekâ€™s feature is Darc Mindâ€™s Symptomatic of a Greater Ill. This album was recorded between 1995 and 1997 for the label Loud, which went out of business. So after lots of waiting, the record was released last year by Anti-Con. This NY duo is made up of MC Kevroc and Webb D. Kevroc does the lyrics and the melody and raps. He has a deep voice and is very present. He manages to be hard-hitting and gritty on one hand and on the other hand has this zen quality. Thereâ€™s something very solid about him. Heâ€™s telling you what he thinks but heâ€™s got nothing to prove. Thereâ€™s something very powerful about that. Webb D is the producer/DJ and his sound is classic: spacious and mysterious, with bits of soul and jazz.
When this record came into my life, I was taking a step into love. The feeling of this album matches the feeling that I had at the time. Itâ€™s about being strong and present and knowing who you are and at the same time itâ€™s about loss of control. Thereâ€™s a simplicity to this record, and yet it has a kind of swirling effect.
This album is about corruption and honesty. Dual blades of the sword, if you will… On the one side, itâ€™s about the fact that weâ€™re all imperfect. And on the other hand, itâ€™s about knowing who you are and being honest and real. This album is a reflection on the duality in all kinds of things like life and society and love. I think the song â€œOn the Outside Looking Inâ€ really captures that.
Darc Mind are grown-ups making hip hop and I think the depth on this album is unlike anything else. Thereâ€™s so much wisdom packed in there: self-knowledge meets loss of control, mystery meets simplicity, innocence steps up to street smarts. In its own way â€œSymptomaticâ€¦â€ is completely unmatched by any other hip hop album Iâ€™ve ever heard.
Be sure to catch Nite Life with DJ Michele Myers every Friday 9 p.m. â€“ 1 a.m. This week’s focus is on punky acoustic cult band the Violent Femmes’ smashing 1983 self-titled debut.