"Definitions of existence in this state are loose". El-P, Cancer 4 Cure.

Jaime Meline has long since been revered as a hip hop vanguardist operating on the fringes of convention. Not only spewing the surrealist rhymes and lines but also reading between them as he continues to function within the margins of the genre, under the guise of El-P he's been twatting preconceptions for six for a decade now and awkwardly entitled latest Cancer 4 Cure of course sees the bats dusted down for another pretty invigorating thwump or twelve.

During Meline's tenure as a bona fide pioneer of 'urban' music, the landscape has changed beyond recognition. It's far from either outrĂ© or outlandish to intimate that the initial intrigue engendered the first time you slapped on Paid in Full, or Critical Beatdown, or Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, or even his own Funcrusher Plus has since been razed to the ground with an intense dispassion for anything other than "bling" and buxom maidens erected in its place. Now but a wasteland both musically and morally (the misogyny now intrinsically linked with rap does momentarily seep into The Full Retard as Meline rancorously seethes "little bitch" in the wake of a wash of weird-out middle eight, whilst Sign Here sounds instructional of an domineeringly robotic Kama Sutra), it's a fucking relief to have artists such as El-P even in a tangible existence. For where a blindingly ostentatious non-style oft prevails over any discernible substance, given such infiltration of a droid-like disaffection it's yet more astounding that the sci-fi-styled majestics of Meline – Cancer 4 Cure features the usual array of cyborg samples, cosmic synths and general galaxy bounce – feel increasingly aligned with a perceptible humanity.

As backdated as Drones Over Bklyn may sound (it is to an envisaging of a glorified futurism from 2k12 perspective what the late Adam Yauch's Intergalactic vid was when imagined from a now-distant '98) and eerily anthemic as The Jig Is Up may instantaneously appear, Cancer 4 Cure is plastered in the hallmarks of a classic rap album. Sure, opener Request Denied ain't no Tasmanian Pain Coaster but then arguably Cancer 4 Cure ain't no I'll Sleep When You're Dead either. His previous remains the preeminent and moreover both For My Upstairs Neighbor (Mums the Word) and the Nicholas Thorburn-featuring Stay Down smack of the sort of aspirational pop crossover that did for Spank Rock (see Energy, or indeed anything off of Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar) and the 'Rascal (anything post-debut) but indubitably few can hock up such visceral East Coast sputum. Whether that be on the malfunctioning fizzle of True Story or the electro-infected, streamlined opera that is $ Vic/FTL (Me And You) in this, his Aluminium year Meline's output still proves stainless.

His only adversary is the illusion behind the mirrored mask although whilst DOOM may be yet to conceive even a shadily consummate effort El-P travails to trailblaze. And as he and the record again tail off into someplace outta sight, it's his Paul Banks collab Works Every Time that never strays from mind. Dribbling a bastardised take on Steve McCroskey's timeless Airplane! quote, he proffers: "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue/ If I exist right now I damn sure I can't provide you proof/ Definitions of existence in this state are loose/ You done enough, relax, I'll finish tying up my noose." Cancer 4 Cure is proof enough of his existence, even if shows and consequent sightings remain extraterrestrially sparse. Banks meanwhile bleats gormlessly; insistently; desperately: "I'll do anything" in what provokes a grim insight into what seems a terrifyingly existential paranoia. Not only is Meline evidently only too aware of the temporary nature of all things contemporary but he has here given us the most convincing of glimpses into his own potential future direction.