A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2012
The Stranger selected ANX as one of the “Top 5 Albums of 2012,” saying that:
This year, Onry Ozzborn (Seattle rapper) and Zavala (Chicago producer) released ANX and thus completed a trilogy that contains some of the most numinous and bumping hip-hop out there. (The first two albums being Believeyoume and Vessel.) “Cultclass,” the best track on ANX is not only haunting but features, at its end, the appearance of a ghost: Rochester A.P. has been dead for more than a decade, and yet his raps “sound fresher than Wonder Bread.”
Similarly, Seattle hip-hop blog 206UP picked this record as one of the “Top 10 Albums of 2012,” saying that:
You could never accuse Dark Time Sunshine’s music of being cheery, but on the group’s third album, ANX, Chicago producer Zavala allows enough cracks in his heavy, electro-organic compositions to let a little bit of sunshine in. Onry Ozzborn’s deadpan science drops are illuminated by tad brighter synths, driving breakbeats (which were all but absent on DTS’s previous two albums, Believeyoume and Vessel), and a few well-placed cameos (vocalist Reva DeVito on “Never Cry Wolf” and a livewire Swamburger on “Take My Hand”, for example).
ANX is also less claustrophobic than its predecessors, its aesthetic welcoming well-equalized car stereo speakers rather than just the strict confines of headphone cans. Dark Time Sunshine’s music has always aurally represented the variations in the weather of the group member’s home cities: the frigid wind of Chicago, the lidded grey Seattle sky. But finally, with ANX, we have tunes that go equally well with our Town’s de facto cloud cover and this past September’s exquisite atmospherics.
Don’t get me wrong, everything that makes Dark Time Sunshine one of the best hip-hop crews working today is still here; much of ANX still heaves and sighs like a concrete robot and Onry hasn’t lost a touch of his scathing pessimism. But that glow you see underneath an electronic heart is evidence of an evolved sentience. ANX can be cold to the touch, but the soul under the surface gives off uncommon warmth. It’s this new layer of complexity that elevates ANX above Dark Time’s great past work and places it in a superior class over every other Seattle hip-hop album of 2012.