Cities Aviv, Black Pleasure

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Gavin Mays first record since 2011 is black on both sides.

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Blake Gillespie | November 14, 2012

Cities Aviv

It comes as little surprise that Cities Aviv is the latest to join the MISHKA mixtape roster. Cities Aviv, born Gavin Mays, has always been a stylish motherfucker to a point that he should be given his liberty to design his own line in the brand (and when it happens, best believe we'll take credit for the idea). The Memphis noise-rap afficionado's Black Pleasure mixtape is the first official collection since 2011's Digital Lows.

The album reads as mostly recorded alongside Muted Drone, but in true Cities Aviv fashion the name is another moniker for Mays. The title should be read not as a Afrocentric porno title or afro-hair product, but black in the way Black Flag uses it – to insight anarchy. Black Pleasure is the mastered realization of a Cities Aviv live performance, which is easily one of the most polarizing sets in the genre. Heavily reverbed vocals, manic sample flippage, and in the red with scuzzy noise, Cities Aviv is out to please his interests first and foremost. Should they align with your own is merely luck of the draw. The growth in Black Pleasure is Gavin no longer lurks in the smokey ether of his music. The reverb remains, but he's less afraid to share that world of his. What's revealed is a general distrust, as he asks is you real or a simulation? Oddly enough, we've got the same question.

For those still needing assistance with Black Pleasure, ask the following questions: Do you long for boom bap fed through a busted monitor with a violent hum that obfuscates the low ends? Do you listen to obscure 80s R&B and think, “this needs the chopped & screwed treatment”? Does your day consist of Midnight Marauders, Metal Machine Music, and Pyschocandy played in succession? Black Pleasure was not made with you in mind, but it works out that way.

Black Pleasure is available for free download here.

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