Saturday, May 7, 2011

Occasional Detroit - Occasional Bomb [I Just Live Here/Human Conduct]/Form a Log - Digital Duck [Spleen Coffin]

I was understandably psyched to find this single at a record swap last year, considering a) it rules and b) it was released all the way back in 2007. Occasional Detroit is the probably the most badass hip hop crew rolling right now and this record is a testament to that.
Ostensibly titled Occasional Bomb due to Gaybomb's work on the single, I don't see it written anywhere on here but I'll trust the internet just this once. The first side is a stone cold motherfuckin' classic. It's a blitzkrieg of turntable scratches, violin/synth-horn/xylophone samples, and random cluttered beats. When the track gets moving, it's on a harpsichord lick! Heavy bass crunches, horn throbs, serious DJ skills all combine for the most frenetic, catchy beat possible. Then the verse drops, Demeat spits knowledge on the workingman's dilemma, "Gotta get that payday/Workin' 9 to 5 just to stay alive" and my favorite comes later "You know you want that promotion!" over Beyababa's thick, noisy drum patterns and Gaybomb's hoarse saxophone; O-D's motto holds true: Different Yet Able to Relate. There's a killer breakdown with more horns and an eerie almost Eastern keyboard melody before the whole thing turns into reggaeton stomp, with a hefty dose of Flintstones-style sound effects. The flipside features an instrumental heavy on the drum programming and cut & paste grandfather clock/power tools samples. There's an almost classic rock-style sample buried way down there but things start moving a little closer to 90s UK rave type stuff as well as dropping in some Middle Eastern sitar-esque samples. Keep in mind this is all backing up noisy, manipulated vocal fragments.
Totally sick 7inch, essential if you can find it. The internet has your back if you can't though.
Moving from a record on Ren Schofield's (God Willing, Container) label I Just Live Here comes an even more wacky release from one of his latest projects. Form a Log, a trio on 4-track tape recorders featuring members of Social Junk and The New Flesh, deliver a logic-defying party single here titled Digital Duck.
"Digital Duck" features a looped synthetic quack which provides an unorthodox rhythmic base along with another sample of cartoon "quacks" and yet another sample of "dig-it-tal-duck" repeated ad nauseum. Before long the trio starts up a pumping house beat underneath. Thinks just weirder and wilder from there. The rhythmic arrangement is robust and relentless letting the trio go duckwild with various forms sample manipulation and noise production. I'm digging the heavily filtered electro-cowbell in the second half of the track. Weird shit.
The second side holds "Digital Duck RMX." Which may or may not be more bizarre than the original. The "digital duck" sample is cut-up and messed with over a loop of AOR guitar/drums blandness. Fuzzy synth tones swoop in and out amongst unintelligible chatter and nearly unrecognizable slowed down vocals. It gets stranger as the piece is left to bump along on a single slowed down guitar solo. The closest analog I can think of to this piece is Tim Sheldon's (Fat Worm of Error) National Felt tape.
Digital Duck is of those records that is somehow awesome even though you're not totally sure it's good. It comes with a rad illustration by Lance Simmons screen-printed on a paper bag slipcase with an insert and nonsensical "short story." Available for 4 bucks from Spleen Coffin.

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