Antipop Consortium emerged in the early 2000s as one of the underground hip-hop scene's most inventive groups, bridging the gap between New York hip-hop and glitchy IDM. Group members Priest, Beans, and M. Sayyid first joined forces in 1997, along with producer E. Blaize. After some underground singles that didn't reach far beyond New York's boroughs, the Ark 75 label released Tragic Epilogue, the group's debut full-length, in 2000. Though the album wasn't quite as daring as Antipop Consortium's successive releases, it nonetheless garnered substantial acclaim, placing the group among similarly edgy New York underground rap artists such as Company Flow.
Warp Records -- the legendary IDM label based in England best-known for releasing artists such as Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, and Autechre -- decided to sign the group and in turn released Antipop Consortium's The Ends Against the Middle EP in late 2001, followed shortly after in 2002 by a full-length effort, Arrhythmia. Both releases incorporated an obvious IDM influence, particularly from a production standpoint. Producer E. Blaize moved away from straight hip-hop breakbeats, going instead with glitchy beats and angular rhythms. As a result, Antipop Consortium crossed over from the stateside underground hip-hop scene to the more international IDM scene, which was becoming increasingly interested in rap during the early 2000s. After wrapping up DJ Shadow's North American tour in late July 2002, however, Antipop Consortium disbanded. It was expected that High Priest, Beans, and M. Sayyid would release solo material by the end of the year, but only Beans actively pursued a solo career, with the other two members banding together instead to form Airborn Audio.
By 2007, Antipop Consortium had announced its decision to reunite. The group resumed touring in 2008, including a British jaunt as the opening act for Public Enemy, and also found time to return to the studio for the creation of Fluorescent Black, which was released in 2009. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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