19 July 2006
DANGERDOOM - The Mouse and the Mask - 2006 - Album review
DOPE SHIT: Old School - Sofa King - Space Ho's
SOUNDBITE: It's just that I'm old school like that/ Roll that rap over soul loops like that
I would say it's that time of the year for another MF Doom outing but the man's relentless - not so much prolific as suffering from creative diarrhoea - I can't keep track of all the stuff he puts out in six months, let alone any longer period. As a consequence I can't be bothered to check out everything he does but every so often I'll have a listen. Generally speaking, if I buy a hip-hop LP these days it's got to have a least one banger on it and a few other distinctive tracks. Often, though, while I find Doom's stuff is atmospheric and his flows highly competent, it can all wash over me without making a more lasting impression. This is tantamount to heresy in some corners of planet hip-hop but I can announce that this collaboration with DJ and producer Dangermouse (recently in the spotlight with Gnarls Barkley) is both remarkable and contains a massive club banger in the form of 'Old School' - which may even remind you of KMD a bit (depending on how long you've been into Doom). In fact it was this track that made me buy the LP with Dangermouse generously providing phat, multi-layered percussion, underpinning it with a rich bass line and topping it off with a fanfare of horns and tinkling piano loop. It would be rude of Doom and guest Talib Kweli not to take advantage of this and they don't disappoint with several minutes reflection on the simple pleasures of creating a beat and a rhyme. It's not just this track that has the solid beats and overall the production is slightly beefier and cleaner than other Doom efforts thanks to the presence of Dangermouse. It also seems that honours may have been fairly evenly split over choice of samples although there's still plenty of obscure TV and film references dug up by Doom. Check out the lazy Hammond organ, flute and whistling cowboy loops on 'Space Ho's' or the beautiful gipsy violin on 'Sofa King'. It's not all classic, but the stuff that isn't is competent, so if you haven't bought a Doom LP in a while and the rest of the Gnarls Barkley LP (apart from 'that track') didn't quite float your boat get this.