Ever bust out your NES to revisit some retro-gaming memories and pop in a copy of Super Mario or Castlevania, only to find that dust in the cartridge has transformed those familiar stages into glitchy (but dope-looking) labyrinths of jacked-up sprites and alphanumeric characters? That’s a pretty apt analogy for what KON Sci‘s done with ‘90’s hip-hop on his first solo feature, making its world premiere in the Booth. “Bringing the gutter back” is the Carolina rapper/producer and MindsOne member’s stated mission on Dire Straits, and bring it back he does—but with a few surreal twists. The gritty, boom-bap percussion that forms the backbone of his instrumental is accompanied by garbled electronic whirs and tightly-compressed guitar crunch, and the artist’s nostalgic lyricism comes filtered through a thick layer of post-Aesop Rock free-association. DJ Noumenon provides the perfect question-mark to cap off KON’s enigmatic retro pastiche, scratching on KRS-One‘s iconic line, “Rappers are in danger,” as the record rolls to a close. Intrigued? Then keep it locked for more fresh song releases leading up to the fall arrival of KON’s And Beyond LP via Soulspazm.