As veteran hip-hop duo Atmosphere, DJ/producer Ant and lyricist Slug have been playing the indie-rap game for more than two decades, and although their beats ’n’ rhymes formula has remained constant, the Minneapolis pair have never played it safe. Following on from 2014’s Southsiders, the duo have put out a new track every month since last September, although none of those have made it onto Fishing Blues. With these 18 even newer tracks, Atmosphere continue to confidently define their sound with a guest list of heavyweight emcees – Doom, Aesop Rock, Kool Keith and The Grouch join the 43-year-old rapper on the mic. Slug’s self-deprecating humour and wicked wordplay colour his vignettes of everyday life, over mostly warm and mellow beats, and he continues to eschew the arrogant boasting that dominates hip hop. While Fishing Blues isn’t likely to win over any new fans, the dark tales of realism are flecked with optimism and a deep burning soul that keeps Atmosphere firmly in the game.