Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #274 - Aesop Rock, "Skelethon"

Taking it back to the Y2K and Aesop Rock and those back-pack hip-hop times, when a tiny rebel alliance tried to hold back and corrupt the Infesticon bling of blood diamonds and porno jacuzzis using only quirky, psychological rhymes and vaguely proggy beats. It was kind of the hip hop equivalent of emo, I suppose; but probably had a considerably older demographic, ten years or so, especially in the UK. Not much of a trace is left, but doth some love remain..?

Fuzzy drum kit beats and keyboard leaning and keening backing vocals while Aesop (real name Ian, which I think is a bit more exotic in the States) almost literally spits lyrics out of what sounds like a full mouth. Garage hip-hop if ever there was such a thing. "ZZZ Top" is a great title. "Cycles To Gehenna" is a more confusing title, but it sits atop a marching mix of organs, handclaps and thoughtful, paranoid noises. Big hurricanes of evil noise for he and the like to surf over.

The torrent of words is such though that I can't pick nearly enough of them up on first listen. And I'm listening to a schedule, peeps! "Zero Dark Thirty" drafts in a mournful cello and some motorik bass noises, kill switch dangling uselessly by the side. There are two parts to "Crows", but I don't really understand either of them. It's quite dense, I suppose. I like dense. "Kings taste terrible and rest in peace/Raw/The rest are recipes": any ideas? The tracks are fast, short and busy.

"Homemade Mummy" lists the instructions to make exactly that. I'm not sure why; must be some social commentary. More pacey workout on "Saturn Missiles" with the same high levels of surreal imagery and rimshot drums. Five years of stuff backing up, dammed up and released: "I never lost tic tac toe to a live chicken/../Worn the same hoodie everyday like Mumm-Ra." Doesn't sound as though he's had fun. Star Trek alarm noises.

Big sky watery synth noises on "Gopher Guts" as he spills those guts about "being accustomed to a stubborn disposition". One of those statement-type statements. That's the closer, but Spotify have a couple of extra tracks with Rob Sonic. "Dokken Rules" has a nice leaden-footed monstrous funk to it. Blueprint turns up on "BMX" as well, which has the same swollen warped noises, and he supplies a typically business-model point: "Debating whether rap's real/'Cos broke motherfuckers are the only ones that have skill." It's nice that Aeshas found someone to play with.

In fact, nice to hear him back. More listens to come.

Rating: Surreal Stream out of Overstuffed Mouth

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