Aesop Rock and longtime musical ally Blockhead have announced the upcoming release of the collaborative album Garbology (Rhymesayers Entertainment) set for release on November 12. Though the pair’s collaborative relationship stretches all the way back to when they were first starting out in the late 90’s, including Blockhead producing two of the most popular songs of Aesop’s back catalog (“Daylight” and “None Shall Pass”) as well as several features across each other’s releases, Garbology marks their first full-length release together. The pair have shared an early taste with album track “Jazz Hands,” a stunning stream of consciousness musical and lyrical sprint bolstered by an accompanying music video by Rob Shaw.
Garbology came together in the midst of Aesop processing the loss of a close friend in January of 2020, which resulted in a creative lull. “The world got really weird during those months,” recalls Aesop. “I knew at some point I had to get back to making something. Make a beat. Draw a picture. Write. Just go. But the idea of making a beat felt like math homework, and drawing is just so hard. Writing is hard too, but at some point, I had to pick one.” Having ultimately decided on writing as the path forward, Aesop hit up Blockhead for beats. Initially, there wasn’t any particular plan beyond creating some songs, but as the songs kept piling up it wasn’t long before an album was born.
Garbology musically encapsulates our current moment; a snapshot of Aes and Block entertaining themselves in an era where social interactions are limited, all while “anchored on a goulash of cabin fever, fear, anger and boredom”, as Aesop describes it. As for the title, he explains that “Garbology is defined as the study of the material discarded by society to learn what it reveals about social or cultural patterns. I find a lot of parallels between that and the idea of picking up the pieces after a loss or period of intense unrest, and seeing what’s really there. It’s information that speaks to who I am, who we are, and how we move forward. Furthermore – the idea of digging through old, often neglected music from another time with an ear tuned for taking in that data in a different way than your average listener would is exactly what Block does. Go through the information and see what you find.”
In the spirit of the album’s theme, the vinyl has been pressed as an “eco-mix”, a 100% recycled compound comprised of trimmed flash and leftovers from other color vinyl pressings which cannot otherwise be reused, resulting in every copy of the LP having its own unique appearance while significantly reducing the environmental impact of the pressing process.