Ecid – How to Fake Your Own Death

3 out of 5

Label: Fill in the Breaks

Produced by: Ecid

I was really looking forward to How to Fake Your Own Death; I’d gotten heavily into Ecid post the release of Pheremone Heavy and collected most of his backlog, as well as a lot of his FitB-produced work.  The man was a workhorse, and capable of flitting between various styles, though his latter-years solo stuff started to err more toward glitch-hop, tailored to Ecid’s own particular sorta sloppy rhyming style.  A lot of his stuff was / is imperfect, but passionate.

With the first single of of How to Fake Your Own Death, which came after a relative dearth of FitB releases (and the disappearance of the website…), Ecid commented, and it was clear from the single’s content, that some heavy stuff – loss – had gone on for the artist.  As a standalone, this was very promising: the beats were a bit more sober, a la Biograffiti, and Ecid’s lyrics – which are normally (amusingly) plagued with scatology and complete nonsense – were pretty on point.

This m.o. was extended to the whole album. While this makes for a unique and focused listen amongst the artist’s oeuvre, I’m not sure it necessarily makes for a great record, or surely not a standout one.  HtFYoD is very slim, musically, and very narrow minded in its topical reach for Ecid.  I appreciate that whatever events prompted that first single likely added up to a viewpoint shift, and that that perhaps took a hit against running a label as well, but it’s weird when even your guest stars (Sims, on Motivationally Speaking) rap in the same exact cadence and register, i.e. not adding much to a track.

Here and there we get the ol’ Ecid spice of splicing old school beats with a sarcastic, juddering sneer: Guru and Wrong Guy are instantly head-bobbing.  And in truth, all of the tracks have that same potential: this is a talented guy who knows his game.  And I’d say that his attempt at being ‘serious’ is what limited this release, but those early discs were pretty heavy and they’re fantastic.  So instead, we’ll chalk up the comparative normality of this album to therapy: whatever happened, this disc is Ecid working through it.  It’s not his best work, but there are absolute highlights, and still more layers than any given radio single you’re likely to hear.  And if it gets him up and working more consistently again, then of course, it’s all for the best.