In the 4 years since The Bloody Beetroots (aka Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo) debut LP, Romborama was released, dance music has exploded with an abundance of genres, loads of anthems and drops, and droves of spotlighted DJ’s that lay it all upon thousands of ears in a night. A lot’s changed since the Beetroots’ original inception, and dance’s saturated market has only made expectations for Rifo’s sophomore release tremendously high.
What's more, Rifo is further challenged as his once promising scene of electro and fidget house have been shadowed by the triumph of dubstep, and it’s especially disheartening that many of his contemporaries accepted defeat and no longer hold relevance. Crookers have split up, MSTRKFT are M.I.A., and Foamo has detached himself from fidget to produce garage as part of Gorgon City. Thus, Hide manifests Rifo’s reactive feelings, thoughts, and self-prophecy amongst the dilemma his identity faces in the world of EDM.
We hear this in the enabling intro in “Runaway,” as its rave and garage inspired build suggest a looming detachment from dance musics roots. A swift cut to Greta Svabo Betch warily asking “don’t you wanna runaway?” triggers the breakaway with an electrifying fidget drop, till dissipation into trapstep. The track as a whole sees Rifo propelled into the midst of the past, present, and future dance genres and sounds combating and shadowing the repute of his signature style.
The succeeding “Chronicles of a Fallen Love” explicitly references the shadow EDM’s boom cast upon Rifo’s beloved take on electro. “The story of a fallen love” Svabo Betch declares; a big room anthem for Rifo and his fidget friends who became heartbroken by the state of dance music with their rendition forgotten “in the dark,” and hopeless thinking crowds will “never dance again” to their style as mass appeal for hard, “slowed down” bass music “left [them] behind.”
An ambitious translation of the lyrics indeed, but it serves a premise for Rifo’s determination to transcend EDM, to be more than a “teardrop in the water” and rather make waves. “Out of Sight” accomplishes such a feat, as Rifo turns former Beatle (yes) Paul McCartney into a commanding “forget me not” grandfather amongst his raver grandkids. Unfortunately Rifo’s collabs with lesser legends Peter Frampton and Tommy Lee fail to create as much of a stir, with the former’s talkbox vocals rendered incomprehensible in quirky, uplifting jam “The Beat,” while the latter just seems to be taking the piss with Rifo in “Raw.”
Thankfully the new school saves grace, as Rifo gets funky with Hip Hop lover boy Theophilius London in the dreamy “All the Girls (Around the World)” and even funkier with Chromeo’s P-Thugg in the jittery track “Please Baby.”
High profile collaborations notwithstanding, Hide delivers on dance floor essentials, with terrifying bangers like “Reactivated,” “Spank,” Gigi Barocco’s “Rocksteady” remix, and punk infused “The Source (Chaos & Confusion)".
Hide may fall short of including the next "Warp," but as a whole it accomplishes exactly what Rifo's profile needs: recognition beyond EDM. While "Romborama" made it for Rifo, his second LP reveals his integrity as an artist, as it recognizes the current chaos in the dance world and steps away from it before fully delivering. Linking the past and the present might not create the sound of the future as intended, but in Hide’s case, it's certainly something different.
Stream Hide free here.