Wednesday, August 10, 2005

quasimoto - the further adventures of lord quas [album review]


Quasimoto is yet another nom-de-plume of Madlib, an underground hiphop producer and MC most recently heralded for his collaboration with MF Doom on last year’s Madvillainy. The Further Adventures of Lord Quas sounds like a side project in the sense that to some extent, one expects side material to be somewhat sloppier than main projects. It turns out that the eclectics and abundances of this record are its strongest features. And along with successful experimentalism, tight MCing over lo-fi beats (the latter is similar to King Geedorah’s Take Me To Your Leader), this is one terrific album – as long as you’ve got the fast forward button (and perhaps a rather large spliff) handy.

While many reviews of The Further Adventures… have tended to focus on the fact that at 27 tracks in total, a lot of the album is lost amidst filler, I would tend to disagree. The lengthiness and eclecticism found through such a huge assortment of tracks give the album a depth that isn’t often found in hiphop, particularly to a novice such as myself. I find you have to search pretty hard to find good hiphop, (maybe I’m just uninitiated, or perhaps just picky) but albums like this make the search worthwhile.

The general atmosphere that spans the 27 tracks is largely reminiscent of the dark underbelly of some metropolis from some dark comic book (think Batman - Gotham City). It’s very dark, but at the same time can be pretty mellow and unthreatening to the ears.

The song structures are very loose, as is the record in its entirety. Again, this works out well. Very abstract, free-form and frequently interesting. There’s a lot of humor at work, and most of it is very quirky – maybe a little too much for some people’s tastes. The hardest part of this record is definitely the high-pitched, chipmunk like voice, which unfortunately, is also kind of reminiscent of Eminem. Ugh. But I found looking at it with the idea that this voice makes any commercial successful basically impossible (because of how absurd and unconventional it sounds) in mind seems to help to make it sound pretty much normal after a couple of listens. This is “underground” hiphop in the truest sense. And while it isn’t the best starting point for Madlib’s work, its 27 tracks are definitely worth digging through.

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