The collaboration between Noisia and Foreign Beggars has been brewing for over five years, and now it’s finally got a name: I Am Legion. Having previously worked together on tracks like “Contact” and “Shellshock,” the combination of legendary bass triumvirate Noisia with UK grime/hip hop kings Foreign Beggars is a natural phenomenon, and by all means the dawning of a new supergroup. With their first formal release, I Am Legion has unveiled a forward-thinking 16-track LP.
At the outset of I Am Legion, one would expect to hear some raw, dark, neuro beats with deft machine gun flow layered on top. Fortunately, the reality of the album is not far from it (albeit a bit more conceptual than such an over-simplified description). While I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of grime, there’s no denying the chemistry between Noisia and Foreign Beggars. Noisia’s grinding, industrial percussion sets a natural foundation for the heavy lyrical onslaught of Foreign Beggars’ frontmen Orifice Vulgatron and Metropolis.
Throughout the entire album, I find myself irresistibly drawn to Noisia’s masterful beat craftsmanship. The percussion is always always interesting, the drum kits dexterously arranged, and the bass cleanly applied. The mood is often tribal or haunting, but always invigorating. The album’s “Intro” sets the tone for the massive tracklist.
Though I’m often turned off by the heavy UK rap style, I usually make an exception for Foreign Beggars. While I can’t claim to love every track on I Am Legion, songs like “Make Those Move” and “Loose On the Leaves” are greatly amplified by the impassioned vocal overlay of Beggars. Some of my favorite moments occurred when the UK rap phemons displayed more emotive, even wax-poetic hip hop musings.
“Loose On the Leaves”
“Foil feat. D.Ablo”
Ultimately, I Am Legion is less of a dance album and more of a futuristic rap-bass crossover. As the artists themselves put it: “We (Noisia & Foreign Beggars) come from two different places and there is a mutual curiosity and admiration that makes us want to make the coolest shit we can. The style and approach to this album has given the lyrics more breathing space and room for exploration, hence it resulting in something more of a rap album with an electronic edge, as opposed to ‘Dance Music’ with raps on it.”
In support of their new collaborative album, Noisia and Foreign Beggars will be embarking on a massive I Am Legion tour this September. Check out all the tour dates at I Am Legion’s official website.