Mic Mulligan

Original Space Neighbors

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Outer space and sci-fi hip-hop isn't a new approach by any means (not least because of the roots in the aliens-among-us efforts by everyone from Sun Ra to P-Funk) but as with any trope, it all depends on what is done with it. Mic Mulligan and S. Future -- the latter better known as Seattle's Specs One -- creates a brief but enjoyable album in Original Space Neighbors, dropping in everything from '50s flying saucer noises to unearthly drones. While Mulligan gets top billing, S. Future's beats and arrangements take to the fore, with the MC sometimes only briefly appearing on a song, sliding into place and then disappearing again with deceptive calm. On "These Bars," his flow and S. Future's piano-led arrangement work together at their best, both attractive and gently menacing, even while Mulligan drops references to Muttley and "Tom Jones muzak." Squeaky Chipmunks-style voices chatter here and there on other songs, such as "Dance Breakz," which is mostly just that, while other guests Jah Nice and Niggerachi take bows, sometimes speaking only through distortion and crackle. Another notable guest is Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls, whose appearance on "Advice from Uncle Jim" is more like William S. Burroughs spoken word than anything else (though admittedly with more command and less rasp).

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