Beta Erko

I'm OK You're OK

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Even if you're already aware of the work of one or several of the artists involved in this project, I'm OK You're OK is not what you expect: it's better and most of all much more bizarre than that. If Krautrock and hip-hop could meet and produce one of the best records of 2004 (Faust & Dälek's Derbe Respect, Alder), why couldn't hip-hop team up with deconstructivist experimental electro? Robin Fox is a computer wizard who has worked with Dave Brown and Anthony Pateras, the latter a pianist and electronician also involved in Beta Erko. Martin Ng is a turntable madman, keen on noise and extreme fragmentation. This trio provides the audio settings over which -- through which -- MC Vulk Makedonski unfolds his rhymes, his voice usually hijacked and reconfigured by Fox. Beta Erko leaves listeners with some reference points -- rhymes, human beatboxing, scratching, beats -- but they are unstable, often taken away or rendered unrecognizable through the flurries of digital signals, kaleidoscopic textures, and slashing noise. And it's a lot of fun. The quartet has control over the mayhem, as the short, punchy, highly focused tracks testify. Nine of the 15 pieces are at or under the two-minute mark and they generally present the most dizzying material. The three- to six-minute tracks give you a bit more time to think, and leave Makedonski's human nature more or less untouched. The album concludes with the 12-minute title track, a slow-evolving exploration in vocal manipulation and electronic textures that appears a bit easy after the preceding fast-paced action. It offers an interesting listen, but chances are whenever you pull this CD off the shelf to listen to it, you won't have that last quarter of the album in mind. Disappointing finale aside, I'm OK You're OK is a unique take on avant hip-hop and goes a long way toward creating a hybrid between the two genres.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:46 Spotify
2 1:30 Spotify
3 1:46 Spotify
4 2:03 Spotify
5 3:26 Spotify
6 1:37 Spotify
7 1:06 Spotify
8 5:51 Spotify
9 1:17 Spotify
10 1:48 Spotify
11 6:35 Spotify
12 1:22 Spotify
13 2:23 Spotify
14 1:22 Spotify
15 12:21 Spotify
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