Alt-rap dissident Jam Baxter’s newest solo venture, Fetch the Poison. Conceived during a state-wide alcohol ban in Mexico, the album is Baxter’s first to be composed in complete sobriety — though his hallucinatory style of storytelling and cast of monstrous characters make a welcome return.
Lyrics on Fetch the Poison meld Baxter’s Latin American experience with visions of a grisly alternate dimension: sun, sea and glittering vistas are sullied by hollow-eyed addicts, shady bar tenders and duplicitous lovers. Amongst deft bars, the rapper includes a number of spoken word pieces that echo the prose in his now sold out book Off-Piste. The album also features Blah Records’ Nah Eeto and Black Josh, as well as DJ Sammy B-Side and Jehst, alongside Brazil’s NOG, Black Alien and Xamã. Baxter reunites with frequent collaborator Chemo on production — now under the moniker Forest DLG — for much of the album with appearances from Jack Danz, Dr Zygote, Wundrop (CMPMD) and Midlands’ electronic stalwart Lenkemz. Despite its diverse credits tracks are connected by icy, spaced-out electronics, with beats twisted through tape distortion and anchored by chest-rattling bass.
Baxter began writing the album in Mexico just before the pandemic began, and was holed up in the city of San Cristobal De Las Casas, Chiapas, as the world shut down. “All the streets were eerily empty and it was amazing. I had the city to myself,” he says. “Then suddenly there was a state-wide alcohol ban and I could no longer casually sip tequila as I went about my business. I didn’t really have a choice but to write”. – Blah Records