Giovanni Marks’ 2 Plaza 2
Every artist has a set aesthetic that adds to their art, and no one proves this better than rapper/producers. Whether you are the newscaster, the emo kid, the gangsta or anything, rap music has a tendency to have artists that box themselves in and make it hard to really allow complexities within that. Giovanni Marks is a different animal.
Those who hopped aboard the train either during the subtitle or Giovanni Marks phase, whether he was on Briefcase Rockers, Gold Standard Laboratories, or his own Get Crev Labs, will notice his aesthetic/role is of the cyberpunk, the scientist, the afrofuturist, the nerd with the Kid n’ Play haircut and Dracula cape. If hip hop is currently in its punk rock phase, Giovanni Marks is the New Wave/synthpunk with colored hair, jumpsuits and plenty of electronic instruments to hook up on stage. But while that aesthetic can give way to ideas of being introverted or reclusive, 2 Plaza 2 suggests that this spacey, futuristic aesthetic that Marks has been cultivating for years during his time as an MC is a universe that anybody can take part in.
2 Plaza 2 is a project that finds GIovanni Marks taking a backseat from rapping to assist friends like Juan Huevos and pink siifu with the avant-garde production he is known for. Take the opener, for example. A slow red siren rumble of synth bass giving way to an anonymous rewound sound all adding up to a sound that is as musically unsettling as it is fascinating. That is just “Alternative C”, which bears the subtitle of being the “nox-vox version”. While you are busy working out how the vox version would be delivered, singer Joseph Squire transforms a stomping noiresque beat into a seductive R&B track that leaves before you find yourself really falling into the groove.
Friends from art-rapper/multidisciplinary artist Koreatown Oddity, Pink Siifu and Mason Williams all come in to give color to Marks’ production from the rallying “Baby Teeth” to the intergalactic stream-of-consciousness delivery in “all night long” (which is delivered as both a regular track and a “space dub”) to the bounce of “Samuraid Hott” that will surely have trouble evading Shabazz Palaces vibes. They all may sound like fragments of ideas underneath a half-hour, but the shift from style to style is fascinating enough not only to keep your attention, but to likely leave you wanting to revisit such world all over again.
2 Plaza 2 can be described as a front row seat into Giovanni Marks’ world of spacey production, but what is different about this project, it’s that it insists that this electronic/avant-rap universe he has been building for years now isn’t only for him.
Listen/Buy here https://getcrevlabs.bandcamp.com/album/2-plaza-2