Friday, 24 October 2008

k-the-i??? - Yesterday Today and Tomorrow (Big Dada 2008)

Big Dada, not content with releasing the most cutting edge hip-hop these British isles have to offer, occasionally pushes out US releases from the outer fringes of experimental rap music. From MF Doom to cLOUDEAD and Bus Driver, they have put their weight behind US artists that don't get much of a look in the UK. k-the-i???, releasing his second album on experimental hip-hop label Mush, is their next pet project. While he's a charismatic rapper, funny like the Biz, out there like Doom and poetic like Saul Williams, it's the beats by Thavius Beck that make this album an interesting release. Thavius Beck helped Saul Williams sound punk, has leant his mixing boards to other respected experimo-hoppers, and now he's produced the entire album for ol k-the-i???. It's as much his album as the rappers, with his music pallette of electronic ablutions, prog-rap progressions, psychedelic spacey feel and grimy drums, all bottom-ended with rumbling diaphragm busting basslines. On the vocal duties, k-the-i??? gets all lovey-dovey, paranoid about new world order conspiracies, and everything else in between, roping eclectic guests like Bus Driver and Mestizo to bump up the collaboration credentials that tend to make rap albums that little bit more special. Even Thavius Beck lends his smooth tones to the ambitious 'Marathon Man'. This is an admirable, very listenable and full of little tricks and textures that make it more exciting than bog-standard hip-hop. Whether it's sustainable enough as an endless listener is still to be decided. While the going's good though, and the beats are still sounding fresh, it's worth getting yourself immersed.

Big Dada???

No comments: