Slightly unusual offering from the normally spliff-addled Ninja Tune label, this is the brainchild of one Andrew Broder aka Fog. Originally recorded in 1999 this is a re-release with three extra tracks, one of which, 'Glory,' features vocals from Dose One of legendary hip-hop experimentalists cLOUDDEAD. It is a curious mix of live vocals and effects, gentle pianos, post-rock soundscapes, hip-hop beats, blues breaks, Beck-style slacker rock, and whatever else is in Fog's record collection, all overlayed with some furious RSD-inducing scratching. Sometimes it works, as on stand-out track 'Pneumonia', which sounds a bit like Capitol K, despite such lyrical gems as "Is it depression or disease? Tell it to the millipedes..." Broder's dead-pan, world-weary delivery lets him get away with it however. Occasionally it shines with originality and subtlety, hip-hop beats successfully merging with Silver Mount Zion atmospherics and effects. But ultimately, like most DJ type albums, the scratching dominates to the point of tedium and at times it reeks of pretension. The opening track, 'A Word Of Advice,' is a case in point, and highlights the album's fundamental problem - it doesn't quite know whether it's a bit of fun, a serious compilation of songs, or a piss-take. Towards the end, Broder starts to run out of ideas with the result that we end up with tracks like 'We're A Mess,' preposterous MOR guitars pinned to lazy beats, and a vocalist who can't quite muster the energy to reach the mic.
Still a commendable effort, that bodes well for the future, and one which is definitely worth checking out if you've grown disheartened with all the jaded DJs mixing the same old sounds for no particular purpose.
6Edward White's Score