Jackals and Vipers in Envy of Man – Sixtoo

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Straight outta Montreal, Sixtoo strikes it big with his second album for Ninja Tune, an instrumental hip-hop suite split up into 13 movements. It’s a film score for the darker areas of life: long-standing regrets, ulterior motives, or the need to constantly look over your own shoulder. Sixtoo’s drum programming is brutal, its distorted snares landing on your head like a professional wrestler’s finishing move. The drums are the linchpins that other electronic sounds hang from. The ninth and tenth movements are particularly memorable as beats start, stop, and get reconstructed. Both are as dark as death, but you’ll find yourself head nodding towards doomsday, anyway. Aside from some beautiful piano work from Jef Neve, Sixtoo handles everything else and does a masterful job of doing so. There is a story being told within these movements and it’s not a pretty one. The exact details of the plot are left for the listener to work out in their mind’s eye.