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, the second full-lengther from New York City rap poets Anti-Pop Consortium, sees the discipline of hip-hop deconstructed and rebuilt from the bare bones up. Although Warp Records have made inroads into experimental hip-hop before--significantly, on Prefuse 73's excellent glitch-hop statement Vocal Studies And Uprock Narratives
--this is the label's first fully-fledged foray into the genre. Where most rappers prize money, women, and the respect of the peers above all, rappers Beans, Sayyid and Priest immerse themselves entirely in the joys of language, spitting staggeringly complex monologues, forever sharpening their vocal edge in a riot of free association poetry. "I move crowds like Larry Levan, very advanced / Invariably man's arrogance will lead to his downfall / I'm now worthy of the grace / My face graces Jupiter's lakes," they stutter on the excellent "Bubblz", as dislocated bongo drums sputter around them. Amazingly, the production is even more eccentric: "Ping Pong" loops the snap of a bouncing ping-pong ball, while the digital static of "Mega" segues an opera singer's heavenly scales into the trumpet of jungle beasts. Arrythmia
is occasionally a difficult prospect--sometimes, you're screaming out for a simplistic Puffy brag, or a funky Neptunes hook to push the plug in on this never-ending torrent of ideas. Still, in the spirit of Warp, another mind-bending success. --Louis Pattison