May 6, 2004

Test Spin: cLOUDDEAD

Print More

Who is why?? And who is odd nosdam and who is Doseone? What is the Anticon collective? And who calls this hip-hop? Is it the beats, or the beat poetry? What happens when three white art-school kids from Cincinnati get together and throw down rhyme-less, absurdist, dadaist lyricism over laptop beats and samples like splinters pulled straight from Canadian boards? When’s the last time a so-called “rap” album shared as much with Eno’s ambient series as with Run-DMC? Is this “new school”?

Does it take drugs to come up with lines like this: “When the people factory shuts down/ There is no mad fandangle on the opposite ends of/ telescopes in spotlights in subparticles of rock”? Where does odd nosdam find these samples (“The Keen Teen Skip” starts off with a scratchy record of a British lad reciting odd couplets like “Wine and cake for gentlemen/ Hay and corn for horses/ A copper bell for good old wives/ And kisses for the lasses”)? How does one mix sound collage, post-rock, ambient experimentalism, indie-pop and hip-hop? How does one make bass-drum sounds by beating Styrofoam on one’s head? Is there a technique to playing a power drill?

Where else do you find Abe Lincoln, gun-wielding fathers with orange-clad kids, Jesus, and Minnie Mouse in the same room? How are we going to get that rattlesnake out from the wheel well, and the strawberry out of that ostrich’s throat?

These boys beg questions, don’t they?

Archived article by Ben Kupstas
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer