Before Clouddead hopped the Atlantic to hit Will Ashton's respected Big Dada imprint, Cloud's Dose and DJ/producer Boom reached critical mass at San Francisco's Mush in 2000, with this re-release through the influential Leaf label receiving a rapturous response two years later. Loaded with 29 tracks, each containing literally reams of thoughts, there is an awful lot to take in, but the experience proves well-worth the investment, with Circle's renunciation of traditional hip-hop in favor of a collation of loose conceptual movements that ultimately add up to one of the most progressive albums to have ever graced the genre. Boom's otherworldly production and sense of the epic match the rapid-fire delivery of Dose blow for blow -- though occasionally the lyrics come so quickly that lines have to be spun simultaneously through different speakers. Fans of DJ Shadow will go wild for the apocalyptic beats, while the wordplay will have even the most ardent anti-hip-hopper turning the corner, and even those more used to Aphex Twin will tune into the obtuse theatrics. Check your preconceptions at the door and fast-forward to some spine-shivering hip-not futurism.
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