Pure Trash

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Ostensibly a hip-hop label, Anticon has done more than any other company to shatter the preconceived notion of what their proclaimed genre can be, replacing the boom-bap of old with a far more colorful swatch of post-rock, experimental, folk, and psychedelic soundscapes upon which a laundry list of post-everything MCs, including Doseone, Why?, Slug, Buck 65, Sage Francis, and more, have laid their poetic musings, in the process reinventing the notion of how a rapper can rap as much as the producers changed how a beat swings. On his second full-length for Anticon, Dosh opens with a chiming children's toy which, soon accompanied by organ, hints at a full-fledged Brian Wilson rainbow-colored explosion. But as is often the case with artists on regarded left-field labels, he pushes too hard, adding grunting beats that stomp all over the otherwise stirring composition. From there on, Dosh sticks to the damaged sound of music/trash collage. Joined by coconspirator Andrew Broder of Fog as well as Anticon labelmates Why?, Jel, and Odd Nostrom, the craftily cut-up mix of dusty drumbeats and overly nice toy/key sounds is not enough in its own right, and appropriating jargon, with a song titled "Rock It to the Next Episode," is borderline insulting, especially when compared to electronic music experimentalists like Funkstörung, who, interestingly enough, have successfully moved to integrate purist hip-hop into their recipe. Not that all of these genre wars should have much influence on musicians following their own leads, but here it feels like Dosh is reinventing the wheel, although perhaps someone new will be listening.

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