Harold Stallworth is addicted to avocado.
True to its name, Alchemist’s new instrumental album Israeli Salad is a clinic in beat chopping, a whirring blender fed with Jewish folk songs and psychedelic guitar riffs. Unlike his previous instrumental releases, Israeli Salad is distinctly a vanity project. Whereas his 2012 compilation Russian Roulette was a museum of especially dark, plodding Soviet loops that were allowed to play out and tell their own stories, Israeli Salad conveys a certain urgency with its production, as if to say, “The man behind the boards is an absolute beast, a technician of the highest order,” and it would be hard to argue otherwise.
The large majority of the beats featured here are exclusive to this release, but a handful of them have already been used on various underground projects going back as far as 2011. Some of the more conventional tracks, like “The Type” and “Shalom Alechem,” which you might recall hearing on Curren$y’s Covert Coup mixtape and Sean Price’s Mic Tyson album, respectively, are outliers here. “Bold,” which was used on the opening track of Boldy James’ M1CS album, could only be described as an explosion of sound; its chaotic chops are much more emblematic of Israeli Salad.