The latest project from the Odd Future-adjacent artist Pyramid Vritra and London jazz artist Wilma Archer is a melancholy note, but it adds up to a project that’s apt in describing the headspaces of both artists. Pyramid Vritra could’ve hit it out of the park on the come-up that brought Odd Future to the mainstream, but due to financial mishaps, he could only watch the situation happen from his home in Atlanta. The rest of the decade was mired with depression, drug abuse, and failed romantic endeavors for the young artist, yet he managed to push on while collaborating with Matt Martians on The Jet Age of Tomorrow, a project that the ride-or-die OF fans will be familiar with.
On this project, he teams up with the London-based jazz producer Wilma Archer, who’s been producing under the name Slime for the past 10 or so years, again with a similar story of going through the motions that Pyramid has been steeped in. Together, they create a project that feeds off each other’s creative energies. Burd is a solid debut showcasing their talent from this very appropriate jumping-off point.
This album is very distinctly Odd Future-esque, with Tyler’s specialized taste in jazz seeping through the record. It’s representative of a back-and-forth relationship between the London jazz scene and Tyler’s influence on the genre, and Brits who were in the country from 2010-2015 will recall the direct influence that Odd Future had on the scene there, specifically on the jazz scene that followed with the likes of King Krule. This album takes the sort of phrasing and goofy production style and flips it with some more laid-back, introspective raps and instrumentals that aren’t overly conscious/cheesy, but daring enough to be challenging to the average listener.
Solo, Pyramid’s tracks aren’t mind-blowing, but the combo between the two artists show that they clearly aren’t fucking around when it comes to making something innovative. The song “Over Girls” is an off-kilter exploration of primal lust, using distorted bass combined with some reverbed choral vox and flute samples to make the message a bit more esoteric. Following that is the sax-laden “Black is the Beauty” which has this sort of held-back hard-hitting beat underneath that sums up a lot of the attitude of these interlude sections, of which there are many on this album.
While Tyler has risen to this stardom level of uninhibited creativity, complete with his own expectations and cartoonish character, Wilma Vritra is a much more unassuming project, fresh, while still building off the groundwork that Tyler has laid down for his peers. We’re seeing what this decade looks like in the aftermath of Odd Future, which, considering it’s a group that’s success was predicated on being misogynistic and homophobic edgy horrorcore, managed to make it through the purge of problematic artists from 2015 till now, probably because none of them were actually shitty people (except Left Brain). Earl’s constantly reinventing himself with abstract rap, Frank is on his deep R&B pop star tip, and Brockhampton is the group everyone mentions as the “new Odd Future,” but not edgy and kinda gay.