made a quick look at the tracklisting of the curious label sampler given to me by my editor. I recognized barely any of the artists; I knew M Sayyid’s work from Antipop Consortium and smiled when I saw the words “feat. MF Doom,” but King Honey, Suphala, and Heat Sensor? No idea. I popped SOUND|iNK colapsus into my CD player, expecting some middling indie hip hop, probably with an electronic-based edge to keep things mod and phresh. I was not expecting one of the best things to hit my ears in 2002. Bam! Somehow this upstart label managed to cull together some of the best artists working in that musical nether region where hip hop meets cutting-edge electronic music, most of them practically unknown.
This isn’t simply the smooth, ear-pleasing fusion of Prefuse 73 either. Suphala’s “Do It Again” is an abrasive glitched-out banger, with the skips and whirrs familiar to your average IDM geek grounded by some ill tabla beat science. “The hot shit” indeed. Heat Sensor’s “Tectonic” mines Eastern folk music for a DJ Shadow-styled production, while DJ Mutamassik manipulates similar sources into an abstract frenzy of shuffling breaks and ghostly voices in “Gulf Rock Mix.” Max Bill’s “Goochi” suggests that the illbient movement discovered some Oval records and moved on. Timeblind’s “Desperado Move” favorably recalls the dark lumbering distorted dub-hop of Techno Animal, re-equipped with glistening Cubase fangs.
However, Colapsus doesn’t spend all its time in the deep end of electronic music. King Honey’s more traditional hip hop productions contain a fluid mixture of samples and keyboards, mixed and subtly manipulated with the time and skill of a master craftsman. “Motions” features the lilting raps of Mental, whose melodic delivery melds perfectly with Honey’s icey-cool beat. Things get a little funkier with “Monday Night at the Fluid,” as MF Doom brings his compatriots from the classic Operation Doomsday for a demented get down. “Jerome came to the party simply for the liquor,” Doom informs us; “Trick be fucking for days straight,” Kurious adds. Antipop’s M Sayyid lays down a percolating electro beat that tops most of his former group’s productions, as well as jaw-dropping / tongue-twisting verbal play – “I soar again / with the shit that blows hair off you face like Billy Corrigan / From Plymouth Rock to Portland Oregon / Cats be like ‘Go back to the store again / I want some more of him / Two fills and a quart of gin, a bottle of cortisone and a pen.’” Whew!
The only thing that doesn’t really work on Colapsus is the final track – John Tejada’s smooth tech-house doesn’t mesh with Sound-ink’s in-yer-face vibe. But everything else has me waiting with bated breath for the next Sound-ink release (unfortunately, this compilation is it so far). Highly recommended, especially for fans of DJ /rupture’s similarly vision (he’s featured several Sound-ink artists in his mixes).
Reviewed by: Gavin Mueller
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01