Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat
Banks & Steelz, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Interpol’s Paul Banks nascent collaborative project, have released the new track “Sword in the Stone”, the fourth single from their upcoming debut album Anything Is Words. The Kool Keith featuring track premiered July 28 on Zane Lowe’s Beats Radio 1.
“Sword in the Stone” marks the duo’s most promising effort to date, abandoning their more established studio techniques for production reminiscent of El-P’s work with Run the Jewels. RZA layers triumphant keyboards over pounding boom-bap drums, while Banks’ heavily distorted guitar rises and falls throughout the track. The Wu-Tang Clan leader attacks the microphone, spitting bars reminiscent of his trademark 1990’s intensity. Keith’s nasally verse is characteristically idiosyncratic, counterbalancing RZA’s more direct rhymes. Unlike previous Banks & Steelz singles, the duo work in unison, rather than incoherently layering rap and rock sounds over one another.
Anything Is Words marks RZA’s first full-length vocal LP since 2008’s Digi Snacks. He has also executively produced six albums since 2008, and has provided guest verses and production on numerous other projects. Banks, meanwhile, last released new music on Interpol’s 2014 LP, El Pintor.