Wednesday, September 12, 2012

cLOUDDEAD - "The Sound of a Handshake"/"This About the City..." 10"

Clouddead – “The Sound of a Handshake”/ “This About the City…” 10”
Mush, 2002
Acquire: Half Price Books, Used, 2012
Price: $2

You know, I understand artistic shit pretty well (I mean, I pretend to anyway) but goddamnit if there’s one thing I fucking hate it’s a goddamn album that has A. No clear title printed on either the sleeve, an insert, or the label and B. A goddamn album that has no discernable song titles. That’s some pretty lousy marketing. Who’s gonna buy your record huh? Well, me, for one, cuz I saw Clouddead and I know enough to know that Clouddead was this mythic thing when I was learning about indie music in high school and I love Yoni Wolf enough to plop down $2 on a 10”. Oh yeah, the THIRD goddamn bullshit thing I hate: not telling you whether this is 33 1/3 or 45 RPM. Fuck. That. Unforgivable, I say. Especially when the music is weird to begin with, full of all sorts of sped up and slowed down beats and vocals. Anyway I’m mostly kidding. Why?, Doseone, and Odd Nosdam can do whatever the hell they want because I can’t think of anything else that sounds like this. Sure cLOUDDEAD are associated with independent hip-hop but this is some weird, quasi-ambient, Brian Eno-esque stuff right here. And oh…oh wait, there is an insert. WHOOPS. Well, uh, I uh, I STILL HATE THAT I DON’T KNOW IF I’M SUPPOSED TO PLAY THIS SHIT IN 45 OR 33 1/3!

This 10” comes after the collection of their early 10”s cLOUDDEAD but precedes their first and final proper album Ten. It’s gorgeous and bizarre and still sounds ahead of its time ten years after its release while still recalling the avant-garde electro heydey of the late 90s in re DJ Shadow, Boards of Canada, and the Avalanches. cLOUDDEAD seem more groundbreaking, though, if only in the sense that I keep listening to this record over and over trying to pick it apart trying to figure out why it works so well. I caught Why? and Doseone at the Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday and was amazed at the different paths they had taken. Why?’s music has grown increasingly poppier without sacrificing his distinct sound and style. Doseone’s music (and maybe Doseone himself) appear to have gone off the deep end. Looking like latter day Corey Haim he played some bizarro self-important maybe even audience mocking rap-dance stuff that was just about the most offputting set I’ve ever seen. Yet listening to this cLOUDDEAD record it’s all so coherent. Doseone’s high-pitched polysyllabic spit of words is compelling rather than obnoxious, especially when it’s paired up with Why?’s low snarky drawl, even when they’re parodizing “Who Let the Dogs Out?” People change, I guess. 

1 comment:

  1. Holy shit would you be willing to sell this?