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14
4.6 out of 5 stars
Clouddead
Format: Audio CDChange
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2005
A sticker on the front of the CD states that its the sound of Radiohead's Kid A and Cypress Hill essentially put into a blender and given a good old whirring.
Obviously they had their head stuck up a dark musty place when coming up with that opinion because it sounds nothing like that at all! I first heard Apt A Part 2 on a Big Dada compilation and knew I had to get it immediately. Almost the sound of Boards Of Canada's Music Has The Right To Children set to surrealist rapping.
The album is pretty similar in mood, the dark grainy samples, eerie synths and the most bizarre occurances you'll ever hear in rap music. Each track can flit between several moods, breaking down into bizarre samples of old 8 bit computer games, crazy percussion, backwards rapping and all sorts! Its a collection of cLOUDDEAD 10" single releases and sometimes I find it a bit hard to digest in one sitting, but plucking out the Apt 2A, Bike and Jimmy Breeze pt 2 tracks always raises a few hairs. cLOUDDEAD No 5 also stands out with its droning ambience, not quite electronic , something more organic.
As a first step into cLOUDDEAD I'd recommend you head to the more coherant Ten, but this should quickly follow as a second purchase ... you'll never hear rap like this ever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
this album is amazing. it's terrific. i've been playing it in lieu of anything else over and over again. i feel the need to absorb it so deeply that it will flow through my blood in my sleep while i doze on the bus.
it's whimsical and ingenious. it has elements of a lot of other artists, but it's ALL it's own. you can hear boards of canada and dj shadow in the music. maybe a bit of the beta band here and there too. the rap style is totally unique. it's playful and odd like outkast, but in parts it resembles a nasily, whiteboyskaterkid version of bone thugs.
this album is not lazy. it wants to trick you into thinking it is. it's really very precise. but, yes, in a lo-fi, laid back kinda way. you go back and forth thinking how calculated it is, and then thinking that these three fools were up into the wee hours of the morning, drinking beer, hitting the bong and jumping up and down on the couch while coming up with their rhymes and beats.
if nothing else, buy this album because these kids have style and they deserve your money. or buy it 'cause it's SO good (!) and everyone you know will be surprised you discovered such a wise little gem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2001
Before this album my appreciation for Hip-Hop streched only as far as De La Soul's 'De La Soul is Dead'. This is explained by my finding Hip-Hop relatively monotonous: beat...beat...beat...scratch...beat, etc...
Then cLOUDDEAD come along and destroyed all my unjustified stereotypes about the Hip-Hop. To combine high quality Lo-Fi, industrial rythmes, with intelligent(mainly ironic) rap lyrics is excecuted originally and with crystal clear genius.
If you like Hip-Hop: buy this. If you like Lo-Fi: buy this. If you like the middle section of David Bowie's 'Heroes': buy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2003
I originally heard Clouddead on a Big Dada sampler (also highly recommended), and bought this album based on the strength of one track. My initial reaction was confusion! Each of the tracks on here are more abstract collages rather than traditional songs, made up of segments of loops and samples, and this disjointed layout is really hard to get your head round.
However, something about the whole album made me feel quite unnerved which made me perservere, and thank god I did. Peel back the bizarre malais of blender samples, broken beats and minimal sounscape interludes and you will find a thing of beauty. Half the time I still can't understand what the hell Nosdam et al are rambling about, but the general feel suggests their very lives and sanity depend on it.
Given time with this album you will grow to love, nuture and cherish it as if it were your own. It has become a part of my being and for that I can only thank them!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2002
This is perhaps the most unique hip-hop album i've ever heard apart from perhaps some of the other work by the artists on the album. The production is fairly minimal, and has that kind of made for 10p quality of old jamaican dub records, which lends it a smoky feeling to the record, the soundscapes that arise from this smoke though are at times stunning, and it's probably these that draw me back time, and time again. The patchy raps that appear on the album however are for me just random nonsense, i think doseone says it best when he says "Do you know how many times i've thought about writing about the paper i'm writing on?" However i would still argue that this warrants a place in most peoples collection, especially if you'd like to hear something just a little bit different, they also make for an interesting proposition live, if you ever have the opportunity.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2001
Surely this is `hip-hop`, it features the rapping, the looped beats, the amusing interludes, but then, well, it also features chanting, a food-blender solo, Tom Waits percussion, Olivia Tremor Control harmonies, dense and mystifying lyrics (`the man with the negative wingspan eats sourdough Sue bread, and hits his highest notes on tippietoe`), and there are no songs, no repetition only evermore curious pieces strung seamlessly together. Whereas hip-hop is traditionally a communal, outward expression of life on the streets these recordings appear emerging from a dank, haunted cellar or from a distant alien broadcast. At times it is foreign and completely unintelligible, then it briefly emerges from the crackling fog with a memorable hook (`physics of a bicycle, isn't it remarkable`, sings Why? sounding like Ian Brown) or an amusing field recording, reminding the listener that this is still an American trio, but always it descends into unsettling synthetic soundscapes that bear a closer relation to the ambience of Eno and the avant-garde than the insistent rhythms and samples that characterize hip-hop. There are the odd sections that are not as interesting simply because they sound vaguely familiar; the Jurassic 5-esque scratching and sample collages for example. The album demands an attentive, patient listener to peel away the layers of eerie mystery and discover the most enthralling, bizarre and, thankfully, the most unclassifiable album of the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2002
The more I listen to this album the more I think its a great one, truly an original blend of hiphop and a more loving boards of canada with a little of Djshadows tingly magic. The lyrics flow into the music in a suprisingly pleasing way, vocals resemble Cypress Hill although the context is so different you couldn't really relate the two, there are moments of music on this album you feel someone must have created somewhere before, as though these combinations couldn't have possibly gone unnoticed, A hiphop sorcerers outlook perhaps
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on 29 February 2012
Imagine my surprise when I found this relatively obscure rap album by a group with a silly name, torchbearers of an even sillier genre: ambient hip-hop. You thought Brian Eno and Cypress Hill don't mix? Think again!

The album might not be perfect, but it's this flawed aspect that keeps me coming back for more. Put some nasal-sounding rappers in a room, feed them some philosophical mumbo-jumbo, give them a few drugs, and this album is guaranteed to come out. Lo-fi songs with parts fading in and out, nonsense rhymes and a vacuum cleaner doing some beat-boxing...this is what I've been waiting for my whole life.

This album is like a half-remembered dream. You don't really know what's going on, and you can interpret anything. It's all hazy and mysterious, just like the name guarantees.
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on 6 September 2002
Below someone titled the album nonsense. I can't believe that any of it is nonsense, it's just too personal to derive the literal meaning from much of the lyrics. I listen to music for the feelings being conveyed, the emotions that are induced in me. cLOUDDEAD, without understanding the literal meaning of the lyrics, can be powerful beyond most hip hop I've ever heard. The album is revolutionary in it's nakedness. See them live if you like the album at all, because the live performance is a million times more intense... ecstatic at moments.
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on 18 October 2002
yeah this is some truely inventive stuff. i can guarentee you will no thave heard anything like this ever before. lush soundscapes more akin to later radiohead, aphex twin or FSOL with a nuts cyprus hill style rap over the top. sounds odd? you would be right. but definately worth investigating. it would make a pretty incredible instrumental album, and the rap just adds to the mix. get invoved.
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