A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside
There are artists, and there are creators. Alexander Spit is a creator. A Bay Area native, he’s been creating his own music since the tender age of eleven, crafting his own beats, rapping and producing, released a bevy of works almost entirely self-produced over the last fifteen years, right down to the artwork. This January 29th saw the most recent fruit of this labor, his debut commercial album, A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside.
As in any industry, there are people who communicate their accomplishments every time they…ahem…spit, and there are those who just do the work day in and day out, year after year, and eventually everyone else catches up to them. Spit is one of those folks, too.
There is painfully little written about Alexander Spit, despite a prolific past that has seen him release and contribute on a dizzying number of projects. A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside is shaping up to change all that. Beyond the buzz around the album itself is one of the more original videos in existence representing the album’s namesake song. Further, residing in L.A. currently has put Spit in proximity to the likes of L.A. based High5Collective, who directed the promotional short film for the album.
“Black Magic on Blue Magic” pulls the listener in with somehow both frenzied and mournful horns, underscored by equally mournful vocals. The song is perfectly paced, substantial enough to make a statement, yet getting on with it before we get bored.
“Ride (Chicken Wit the Odds)” swoops in to change the pace, opening almost like a jingle, before exploding into a thumping, complexly layered number with advancing lyrics. “Great Scott” highlights Spit’s mastery of mixing media, sampling depressing economic reports transitioning into something almost reminiscent of 1993’s Doggystyle (yes, that was really two decades ago), and finally dropping into a lo-fi clapping sound that is totally unexpected.
“That’s Spit / Space Echoes” is discordant, well enunciated and super creepy. Weaving together rhymes ranging from “Ciabatta in that toaster/ Java and mimosas” to “My imaginarium is fully equipped with bullets and whips” is nothing less than masterful.
Touches like the “NRML Ave Interlude” showcase Spit’s understanding of sounds, with old school ringtones and a vibe like he’s leaving the room and reentering. “B.N.E. Remix” superimposes more doom and gloom news reports onto frenetic strings, putting you on edge in the most delightful way.
My personal favorite is “Coastal / Hyperion,” for reasons unknown to even me. It just sounds good, reminding me of bygone things I love and keeping it fresh, all at the same time. The song serves as a brief reprieve, before “Lakes” reminds us to take heed, “there’s dead bodies at the bottom of the lake.” Eh, they probably deserved it.
A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside is vast, and there is lots to explore before Bago kills it (for a second time) on “Sluts Kiss French,” Spit’s second to last exploit before “Death by 27” ends this trip soulfully and pensively, tying it all together. Give A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside as many listens as it takes to be down with it; notably trippier than classic feeling efforts like 2009’s Mimosa, once you’re in, you’ll wonder why you’d ever leave.