At the start of this slightly mad but always enjoyable hip-hop mash-up, a sampled voice says, "Welcome to a new kind of listening experience ... this record is different/different/different." But that's not entirely true. As a clever meltdown of supple beats, rapid scratching, samples from obscure Southern country-soul, Mexican horns, bumpin' bass and much more from some long-forgotten record collection, this goes back to the mid-80s when open-minded hip-hop was riding on wit, eccentricity and a love of the quirky - and enjoying the pleasure of pulling odd music together with no political agenda, but just because it sounded good - or funny.
T-Rock and Squashy Nice are apparently from the southern US (this, their third album is released on a New Zealand label) and there's something of the more languid days about this utterly unpredictable collection of often soulful songs (the aching Why Should I Go On early up and Baby Come Home later) punctuated by oddball $2 riffs, surface-noise soundbites and the occasional voice mentioning "43 flavours of jams and jellies" (with jazz flute).
Yes, it's silly and unashamed fun, but seriously clever. Very welcome.
- elsewhere.co.nz / TimeOutBy Graham Reid Email Graham