After a couple years of solid, albeit standard albums which felt like a victory lap for Sadistik (Delirium, Elysium, L’Appel du Vide), he’s sounding newly inspired on his long awaited collaboration with producer Kno. The follow up to their 2015 project Phantom Limbs, Bring Me Back When the World is Cured is far more fleshed out and is really what everybody has been fiending for. With flawless flows, dense rhymes and vocabulary, and dark imagery, Sadistik is challenged in the best way by Kno’s lush, sample heavy beats – Who continues to prove why he’s one of the greatest and most underrated producers ever. Bring Me Back When the World is Cured is everything we could have asked for.
Dreamt I was lost in space doing aerials
Solar flares in peripheral look like marigolds
Chest dissect throat full of herringbones
Strawberry moon so aglow with the pheromones
The album frankly starts off a bit par for the course for these artists. “You Don’t Know”, “The Earth Was Empty”, and “Ghostly Key” showcase signature Kno production, with hard hitting percussion which accents his heavily layered, beautiful beats. Many hooks are simply a vocal loop. You can pay attention to any given part of each beat and feel the way they build upon each other, proving his meticulousness in the studio. Sadistik’s performance is wordplay heavy and referential (often to the occult, film, and other arts) in this opening run. You might also notice he’s incorporating references to a lot of his past work throughout the album (namedropping old songs and interpolating lyrics), which is a nice payoff for big fans.
Sadistik x Kno – Ghostly Key
It’s on “Apple Valley”, however, where things get really interesting; Sadistik is more honest and direct than he has been since 2013’s Flowers For My Father on this song, speaking on his parents and childhood home. It’s subtle, but throughout the album he feels more human than the somewhat monotone and abstract technician we’ve come to love in recent years.
Sadistik x Kno – GODMODE
There’s a tight feature from Natti of Cunninlynguists fame which breaks things up a bit on “Mothlight”, while Sadistik manages to find a pocket on this high energy beat by inflecting his voice on a single rhyme in each line. He often finds the most creative ways to mix up his mechanical flow and internal rhymes. “Neptune Skin” slows things down for some of his most fascinating imagery ever, leading into the stellar “27 Club”. This song is an example of the more prevalent bass which Kno has incorporated on BMBWTWIC, and it matches Sadistik’s themes and energy perfectly. He brings a whole different perspective and ]swagger to the tragic pattern of artists’ struggles and passing: “The 27 club ain’t shit if I ain’t in it”.
Next up is “Disappear”, featuring MC’s Gifted Gab and Mibbs, who happen to speak on meeting Mac Miller and his addictions. “Where You Want Me” is a lovely tribute to Sadistik’s partner over an otherwise eerie vocal sample on the hook, making it reminiscent of “To Be in Love” from Phantom Limbs. There are also the two “Raindrop” songs, which are easily among Kno’s best beats on the project, highlighted by gorgeous samples and reflective verses (“Storm chasing’s fine but there’s more to life”).
Looked up to god but he jumped the shark and left me hell borne
Maybe it was a mirage or a façade that I fell for
Asbestos in the head, electric fences left the shell torn
Sadistik x Kno – Rainclouds (Part One) (f. Lucy Camp)
The album’s title is not only a play on the pandemic we have all lived through, but also all the woes and struggles which deject us. Sadistik is no stranger to the most personal and dark subjects, and that is on display nowhere greater than “Blue Tree Meadow”. Over a jarringly bouncy beat, he gets into honest, vivid depth on the topic of suicide. Describing the gross details and evoking the grief that a victim’s loved ones would feel, this is a song which really sticks with you.
Other dope tracks from the last section include Kno himself rapping over a nearly aquatic beat, “Quietus”, where Sadistik plays with his flow a la Eminem’s “The Way I Am”, and the single “Godmode”, which is an absolute barrage of rhymes. The only minor gripes to be had with this album are the lack of transitions (many songs end rather abruptly), and more memorable hooks beyond the samples (granted, that’s rarely Sadistik’s style). Regardless, BMBWTWIC is pretty much everything fans have been waiting for and is immediately among both artists’ best work, making it a certain album of the year contender.