Following Haram, We Buy Diabetic Test Strips is an entirely different beast, incorporating live instrumentation and featuring an array of producers including JPEGMAFIA, EL-P, Kenny Segal, DJ Haram, Black Noi$e, Preservation, August Fanon, Steel Tipped Dove, Child Actor and Sebb Bash. Holding true to the sonic identity they’ve successfully cultivated since their 2013 debut, familiar faces like Pink Siifu, Moor Mother, and Curly Castro make contributions, while also bringing new and like-minded peers into the fold, with features from Junglepussy, Moneynicca (of Soul Glo) and Cavalier. Virtuoso jazz musician and celebrated composer Shabaka Hutchings shows up on flute, one of several musicians who sat down with ELUCID and celebrated engineer Willie Green for a jam session in 2022 that helped pour the foundation of this album.
Of his experience working on the album, ELUCID shares, “This sort of reverse engineering of talented players who met for the first time in the studio jamming to pre-recorded beats before splintering off into new directions. Being in the room quietly watching 4 people fumble around each other’s sonic worlds before finally locking into a solid groove was a clear and obvious magical moment for me.”
As solo artists, ELUCID and Billy Woods had already achieved modest success prior to collaborating on their 2013 debut, Race Music. That album was followed by an EP; Furtive Movements in 2014. Both artists continued to collaborate over the following years; making appearances on each other’s work and performing together, but fans would have to wait four years for a new Armand Hammer project. ROME was released in November of 2017, and the duo doubled down with Paraffin in 2018. Like opposite sides of a coin, the two albums are connected, yet radically different in their design. Paraffin was greeted with a wave of critical acclaim that only rose in the wake of 2020’s naturalistic masterpiece Shrines or their transgressive 2021 collaboration with The Alchemist, Haram.