It's fitting Atlanta's The Difference Machine's first live show was opening for Kool Keith, the Black Elvis who's impact on rap is both outlying and indisputable. The Difference Machine are a duo of outliers themselves, their relevance to Atlanta's rap scene is difficult to pin down. There's the understanding that Georgia's psych-rock roots run deep, so The Difference Machine was bound to happen. Outkast's experimental side always suggested Organized Noise understood psych music, there have been other Atlanta-based underground rap groups who've incorporated doses of psych, but The Difference Machine embody the influence in every second of their debut LP. Even the album art is a respectful nod to the 13th Floor Elevators and West Coast Experimental Pop Art Band.
Released last month on Psych Army Intergalactic, The Psychedelic Sounds of The Difference Machine does not treat psych music lightly or with a cartoonish fever. Producer Dr. Conspiracy is primarily concerned with the boom bap foundation and for all the “experienced” passages in the record it never strays too far off a course that's tied to alt-rap. Dr. Conspiracy's keen ear keys in on Ol' Dirty's madcap proclamations from “Brooklyn Zoo”, and when placed in this setting, prove both Difference Machine and Big Baby Jesus are on some other-wordly shit.
On “Psychology” DT invokes a style that blends “Broken Language” and LL Cool J. Much like Edan and Lushlife before him, he binds the psych-production to the artform through a legendary flow. Dr. Conspiracy's cinematic production issues a challenge for DT to sustain the suspenseful atmosphere and he responds with boasts that intensify with the horns, knowing every attack must better his last.
The Psychedelic Sounds of the Difference Machine is out now on Psych Army Intergalactic.
The Difference Machine have two live dates scheduled in January 2014:
17 Jacksonville, FL at Rain Dogs w/ Willie Evans Jr.
18 Savannah, GA at Hang Fire w/ Knife