In August and November of this year, New Haven artists Mandy Moorehol and Sketch tha Cataclysm paired up to release a couple of EPs, Hella Kafkaesque Vol. 1 and Hella Kafkaesque Vol. 2. If this flew under the radar for you, never fear, because they’ve already gone back and put everything together to make a deluxe package and get everything in one place, with Hella Kafkaesque Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Package.

Chances are that you haven’t heard Mandy Moorehol before, so you probably have no idea what to expect with this project outside of Sketch’s rhymes. Well, as implied by the title, things get a bit abstract with the music on this release. While there are moments where Sketch is straight rapping and you can groove to the beat a little, you never quite get that fully formed, familiar song structure that your brain will half expect when you put an album on. Moorehol is playing a lot with slowed down voices and psychedelic sounds and then mixing that with these electronic and hip hop beats that will often come and leave when you’re not expecting them. The closest comparison that comes to mind would be something like Jel or Odd Nosdam might have made back in the early anticon. days. This does put some pressure on Sketch to make his moments count and to cut through the noise, but the good news here is that Sketch is one of the most verbally dexterous emcees working today, and he’s able to adjust his flow to some pretty tricky beats and cadences and still deliver some verses that will stick with you and give you food for thought. The whole thing comes together for a really interesting listening experience that certainly isn’t like every other rap album that came out this year.

If you missed it, now is the time to discover the interesting work that Sketch tha Catacylsm and Mandy Moorehol did on Hella Kafkaesque. It’s challenging and experimental, but for those willing to take a risk, there is plenty of reward to be had.