On his partly self-produced second tape, New Wave, Ibn Inglor rejects any likening to Kanye (he yells fuck comparisons on “Black Print / Justice”), but he knows it’s coming. How could he not? The 20-year-old South Sider made a dark, sinewy, industrial tape that rages against the machine, complete with a bounty of Yeezus screams, not to mention a reference to Late Registration-era Kanye with the 18 years, 18 years line on “Waxxx.” But where Yeezus directs its fury towards the systematic oppression of America at large, Inglor is focused on the suffocating violence of his hometown. This is why New Wave works, without feeling like a rip-off. Though it doesn’t sound much like anything currently coming out of the city, New Wave is Chicago to its core, the resigned nihilism of drill expressed through scuzzy electronic experimentations. Chicago is the perfect setting for the Inglor’s dead-eyed, instinctive lashing. Lyrically, he concisely nails the harshest aspects of life there, from the relatively benign (on “Cold Storm,” he talks about riding his bike through a snowstorm) to the sickening (on “Scared,” he bitterly rejects a girl’s sexual advances because his friend just died.) With just nine songs, many of them under three minutes long, New Wave is lean and powerful. It explodes in a burning howl, then suddenly it’s gone, leaving you in a cold sweat.
Highlights: The last minute of “Welcome” sounds like a Brenmar remix of Vatican Shadow. Inglor’s devastating voice crack in “Everything.” The verse from Drea Smith, the tape’s sole guest, on “Fire.”
WTF: “Everything” final left-turn 30 seconds, a Daft Punk-inspired breakdown that somehow works.