What are your travel plans this summer? If you’re anything like Ramada (AKA Amos) and Palmer Eldritch, you’ve already been envisioning your first getaway from this wet, crumbling isle. But travel isn’t limited to physical spaces, and with Global Gazetteer, you can explore the world and your mind in one go.
So, is it about the transient nature of life? Is it an indictment of the sanitation of travel in the midst of a global lockdown? The artificial sense of hospitality conjured by identikit rooms?
Despite most of the bars being written long before lockdown, the album touches on a lot of issues facing the travel industry right now, not least the impending collapse of the hospitality trade.
That might explain why, for an album named after different hotel chains, Global Gazetteer is surprisingly raw. It comes with the usual GoTM staples; Eastern mysticism, philosophical quandaries, references to British comedy classics like Only Fools and Horses. But in Global Gazetteer, the focus is very much on conjuring a sense of place, even if that place is 15 different hotel chains with hotels in every continent.
Akin to Aesop Rock, the GoTM sound owes a lot to the Rhymesayers DIY ethic. But where the Rhymesayers canon became bywords for preppy white-boy college rap, the likes of Ramada and Palmer Eldritch are carving their own, anomalous niche.
‘Excellence’ comes with a razor-sharp hook and some fire guest bars from labelmate Deeq. Likewise, Novotel burrows into your brain with its stripped-down soft jazz piano loop.
There’s the usual mix of chopped up samples too – from Fear and Loathing to Double Indemnity – with the only obvious direct thread being they’re from scenes set in hotel rooms.
With Ramada and Palmer Eldritch, you never quite know what you’re getting. For a rapper named after a hotel chain and a producer named after a Philip K Dick character, pretty much anything is possible. How far you’re willing to travel into the Kubrickian hallways of their minds is up to you.
Global Gazetteer is out now on Gold on the Mixer.