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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
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+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
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+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
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+ Cex - Actual Fucking
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+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
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+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Cosmic Cleavage
Big Dada

Giving it to you in emotional spew, Los Angelean hip-hop hero and Project Blowed graduate Busdriver sounds less like he's taking you to school and more like he's forever delivering a punch line. Bringing unlikely theatrickality to jazz-sampling West Coast underground hip-hop, Busdriver makes like some sort of mugging comedian in vocal tones borrowed from a 1950s radio show, going for the Lynchian absurdist-comedy jugular with his jocular, jazzy, jaw-dropping nimble-tongued/half-sung delivery. Setting this, entirely, to the swinging-for-the-fences-of-the-swing-era productions of Daddy Kev and D-Styles — cut-ups that cascade clamorous piano chords, virtuoso double-bass wankery, and cymbal-splashing daddio drums — Busdriver sounds like a Beat poet evoking a scatting jazz-vocalist, spitting out syllables from a mouth shooting-off with rapid-fire machine-gunning Prohibition-era percussiveness. But rather than reducing voice to meaningless baby-talk so as to turn it into a rhythmic instrument, when you get beneath the blurred words, you find out he's rattling out carefully-cultivated free-associated rhymes, in one memorable sitting spitting out, in the rapidest rapid-fire: "And you treat dinner dates like fucking table-tennis/ Your fucking navel's endless/ And it leads to a corridor/ And you've got a playful fetish/ Of having your anal crevice/ Rammed in/ By a four-door sedan/ Of football players." Lyrically, that's par for the course for Cosmic Cleavage, a thematic (cum concept (cum cum-concept?)?) record largely dealing in Busdriver's side-splitting misadventures with women, and how they've tended to get the best of him. It's a true-life tale of to-live-and-love-and-lose-and-be-a-loser-in-L.A., the lyricist thinking he does too much "unnecessary thinking" to get himself any of that "hairy pink thing." He knocks all this endless hilarious riffing and off-the-wall wackiness out in under half an hour, too, an almost unbelievable swiftness in the bloated world of hip-hop discs, the 29-minute running time even padded out with six minutes of instrumental free-jazz pastiche-ing to bring things to a close. Case closed.

by Anthony Carew

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