Lee Bannon

Fantastic Plastic

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Hip-hop producer Lee Bannon is all over the place on this glorious mess of a record. He's treading the dangerous line that separates self-indulgence (think of DJ Spooky's more pretentious excursions) from brilliant experimentalism, and he mostly stays on the right side of it, but "mess" is still the word that comes most frequently to mind over the course of Fantastic Plastic's 37 minutes. What is constant (more or less) is the thread of head-nodding beats: even when Bannon is pulling seemingly random sounds from the crates and from the ether, the beats are consistently both present and funky. There are junglistic gestures (note the title track, which briefly features hard-edged rapper Yu of Diamond District, as well as the frenetically glitchy intro to "Search & Destroy"), moments of jazzy abstraction ("Phone Drone"), and nods to vintage funk ("Space Glide," "The Noise in Color"). Guest MCs range from familiar and well-established names like Del tha Funky Homosapien and Inspectah Deck to less famous artists like Poor and Chuwee, and all of them acquit themselves nicely. But the central figure in Bannon's soundscape is his sampler: everywhere are random-sounding piles of sonic detritus taken from old vinyl recordings of dance orchestras and jazz combos, telephone conversations, and even police scanners (the slightly hair-raising "Scan"). By the end of the album you'll be slightly exhausted, but it's worth the effort.

blue highlight denotes track pick