Imagine a society, where biometrics pushed to its limits would come to lock our last humanity’s surfaces, where each parcel of freedom is seen squared by squadrons of majestic and vigilant connected cameras. Where AI and DNA govern and watches all over your thermal silhouettes through interposed screens, into a dancefloor of infrared beams, lasers, scanners, like a lost waltz through the spectrometer. Thin are the interstices, weak are resistances. It is down in the organized subterranean life that dreams of a general blackout starts taking shape. A music of a disillusioned generation, a bugle of the disfigured alleys, welcome straight outta dystopia.
| Written & translated by Nino Futur
Launched in 2020 to alleviate the boredom of a murky lockdown, Dio_Miden_Dio_Miden (2x2x) is a Greek alternative rap project bringing together different generations of Athenian rappers who have a certain aversion to the old world in common. Anti-authoritarian and deeply urban, Dio_Miden_Dio_Miden. brings together the partisans lyricists Jaul, Incognito but also the elder Hrwas (already reviewed in the pages of Karton) and KK (to be pronounced KappaKappa…), those also in charge of the beats on the album.
Dark, sensitive, and morevover honest, the rap of 2x2x passes through us like the last day rays through the shutters. A strange feeling of a moment of tacky grace between boxing flows and chiaroscuro choruses.
A unique musical recipe, characterful soundtrack of a sleepwalking city (Try the title “Barco Pirata” and you will see… 2x2x is a nimbus light around our anxieties).
After a first album “Metakinisi_6” acclaimed by the highest juridictions of the Greek DIY court, our hellenik avengers return with a “Straight Outta Dystopia“, more actual than ever, both musically and textually. The modernized productions with this same Athens-Gotham-style identity and urgency, where concrete’s greyness reflects the effervescence of several worlds advancing in parallel though the same anthill.
It is a constant aftertaste of nightwalks, aerosol, cold coffee and ashes that the album leaves us in mouth.
From its introduction linked to the eponymous title “Straight Outta Dystopia” we find Greek rap as we have always wanted it, namely vindictive, willful, and current.
Each beat of the album immerses us in a distinct atmosphere with an identifiable musical touch masterfully led by Hrwas and KK.
From the almost mystical trap urgency of “Sabotage” to the retro futuristic soundscape of “Akoma” through psychotic zumba “clickbait” there are as many rooms here as there are atmospheres to wrestle with the beat. The flows are technical and exalted, each vocal performance of the 4 MCs is a different interpretation, with the same relentlessness.
The poetic and pictorial charge of each text, although being missed out for many of us, the experience does not remain insensitive. More than honorable mention to the title “Topia” (“Landscape”) which, like a moment of grace, brings an aerial breath to the album under its melodic layers, and its PNL-ish chorus, masterclass.
Athens proudly worn on the banner, the music of 2x2x is an ode to the untamed city, to authentic neighborhoods and to this eternal social and united spirit of struggle.
2x2x raps for dark alleys, bricked-up windows, wire-mesh, barbed-wire areas, squats, rat-holes, holder bottoms. Anti-security rap, the verbal sling against the increase in the price per square meter. The last flickering street lamp in the neighborhood under renovation. “Greetings from the neighborhoods below” says Hrwas in “Topia”.
Dio_Miden embody this model of DIY rap at the antipodes of a star-system (“count your debts while your rappers count the cash“), that people “fed with stress and caffeine”, the one who refuses to bring his art into the great parade of fakes so symbolic today “We will be the rap that passes your anti-doping test”
The professional quality of the work on “Straight Outta Dystopia” is clearly not to be questioned. A complete album on all his writing with references as much pop culture (Ninja turtles, harry potter) musics (Sepultura, sodom…) as purely Athenian references (districts, concert places).
“Straight Outta Dystopia” is a generational report, children of crisis, repression, disfigured city centers, where popular alternatives have been diminished or even flouted by an almost inevitable order. The urban dystopia that we have all been experiencing for years is less and less a fantasy, like the observations of a “Zippo against robots” chronicled in Karton 8# our comfort would have become our worst enemy, our anguish our best lullabies.
A reference album, but also the ideal gateway for you who wants to open up to the DIY Greek rap scene. A call to take back the streets, the parks, terraces, squats, for independence.