** Please note: limited edition items are restricted to a quantity of 2 per customer; purchases violating our limit will be canceled. **


Digital album releases January 12th, 2018. Record ships on or around February 16th, 2018.


** Customers outside the US, purchase via this link **

  • Standard weight blue vinyl housed in a 3.5mm matte laminate jacket
  • Design by Peter Rentz
  • Download card included


The early 2000s were a time of upheaval for hip-hop. The underground and mainstream divide that had defined so much of the previous decade was showing the first signs of irrelevance. Timbaland and The Neptunes made radio rappers sound futuristic while independent artists struggled in a quagmire of backpacks and misguided claims to keep it real. Away from this, in a misunderstood middle ground between hip-hop and electronic music, a new generation of artists were busy imagining a new sound for hip-hop.

One such artist was Scott “Prefuse 73” Herren, whose perpendicular MPC chops on his 2001 debut for Warp Records set curious minds racing with possibilities. That same year Tadd Mullinix released his debut as Dabrye on Ghostly International, a sonic wildstyle that appealed to both hip-hop heads and IDM nerds. Sometime that same year Herren and Mullinix met after sharing a bill in Detroit. CD-Rs were exchanged and a year later Eastern Development, Herren’s newly launched label, released Dabrye’s Instrmntl, a short album with a big impact. On its fifteenth anniversary Ghostly International is reissuing Instrmtl on vinyl and making it available digitally for the first time.

Instrmntl is a continuation of the beat experiments Dabrye began with One/Three and a bridge to the diverse textures that would define Two/Three four years later. About half of its nine tracks (ten if you lived in Japan) were created at the same time as One/Threewhile the rest were newer or made specifically for the album. Once again Mullinix looked outside of hip-hop to techno, house, and drum & bass for stylistic and technical ideas while embracing the blissful minimalism of a good hip-hop instrumental and the rhythmic nuance of Detroit.

Despite the similarities between Dabrye’s debut and this follow up, Mullinix didn’t simply replicate what had made One/Three so arresting. He pushed and pulled further between the two cornerstones of his approach to reveal more potentials. Instrmntl takes you deeper into electronic depths — the rugged synth stutter of ‘Won’, the tumbling, wobbling bass in ‘No Child Of God’, the electro get down of ‘Prospects (Marshall Law)’ — while also treading more organic grounds by letting samples breathe and moods unfurl at a gentler pace (‘Take Me Home’, ‘Evelyn’, and ‘You Know The Formula Right?’). And then there are the moments where this push and pull finds balance and the result becomes more, as it does on the mournful march of ‘D-Town Tabernacle Choir’ and the twinkling daydream of ‘This Is Where I Came In’.

At just over 30 minutes, Instrmntl offers a snapshot of a time when potentials seemed infinite, when lines could be drawn between jazz, ragga jungle, techno, and hip-hop and the resulting shape divined an exciting future.



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Blue Vinyl + MP3 Download $19.00 Add to Cart
WAV Download $14.00 Add to Cart
MP3 Download $8.00 Add to Cart

All MP3 Downloads encoded at 320 kbps unless otherwise specified.

Track List
Intrdctn. $0.99 Buy MP3
Won $0.99 Buy MP3
No Child Of God $0.99 Buy MP3
D-Town Tabernacle Choir $0.99 Buy MP3
You Know The Formula Right? $0.99 Buy MP3
Evelyn $0.99 Buy MP3
This Is Where I Came In $0.99 Buy MP3
Prospects (Marshall Law) $0.99 Buy MP3
Take Me Home $0.99 Buy MP3
Gimme Lowlands (Bonus Track) $0.99 Buy MP3

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