Quasimoto
The Further Adventures of Lord Quas


3.5
great

Review

by Louis Arp EMERITUS
May 15th, 2005 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Let’s skip the introduction; I’m just gonna line out a couple points and figure out where to go from there. I’ll try to wrap it up a nice bow at the end.

I. The Production or, It’s Probably Best to Start With the Obvious

Otis Jackson Jr. is arguably the best producer in hip hop right now. What a newsflash, huh? Let’s get through the obvious before we start picking the nits off this album.

If you’re unfamiliar with Jackson, you probably know him through one of his many aliases. If you don’t know him by his aliases, then you probably don’t listen to a whole lot of rap. Simple as that. His style, although incredibly diverse in influence, recalls the finest moments of Prince Paul, Pete Rock and the Dust Brothers. Good company, I’d say.

But there’s also that almost intangible finish on Jackson’s work. Whiffs of Lee “Scratch" Perry productions from the 70's or one of those Sun Ra albums where you can hear people walking around near the microphones, that kind thing. The result is a good pancake; warm and fluffy. Under-produced? Yeah but it’s crisp, too. Everything is still fairly very sharp and discernable except when our man doesn’t want it to be.

Try “Closer," the Madvillainy reprisal featuring MF DOOM, on for size. The female vox hook gives the track an awesome, semi-trip hop feel but I’ve heard 60's garage rock tunes that hiss like this. Jackson is one of those producers who doesn’t mind crackle. Moreover, he’s usually reveling in those snaps and pops. As one of the more “conventional" tracks on the album, “Closer" comes highly recommended.

Though “Closer" might allude to some underlying sense of structure, most of the tracks are amorphous, sample after sample, almost a pure collage of odds and ends. “Civilization Day" would attest to this observation. Songs like “Civilization Day" open up with a sample, turn into a funky little beat, fly into another vocal sample, get back on the beat, Quas will freestyle, another sample, and then end, all in the span of two minutes.

II. The Bearable Lightness of Being or, No One Else Really ***ing Matters

I’ve always viewed the Quasimoto moniker as an opportunity for Jackson to be as out there as he wants, to use the stuff he makes that’s simple inappropriate for other projects. He’s always making the stuff that he wants to hear, but no where else is it more apparent than on his Quasimoto albums. How does this work for him in a good way?

Well, for the most part, what the man likes sounds good. “I know rap my man... I mean hip hop," he says, poking fun at the dance of semantics that hip hop can’t escape. I mean... rap. Whatever you want to call it, the man knows it inside out. Check out “1994," another track I can recommend completely without feeling guilty. He strips the track down to a simple groove, just drums and intermittent horn skronks and bass hits. He staples a Bugs Bunny sample to the front and a Queen Latifah verse onto the end. What? Trust me, it’s good.

Nearly as good, “The Clown (Episode C)," which has Quasimoto opening with the line, “I’ll rock your body like I’m stoning you." The second half of the song is a collage of samples, a casserole of MCing (as obscure as Antoinette, as recognizable as Black Thought,) cartoons, and instructional videos. Pretty interesting stuff, especially as Quasimoto’s rhymes transition into samples over the maudlin beat.

Lyrically, most of the songs are somewhat topical; the middling “Maingirl" is the typical playa track. “Tomorrow Never Knows" is a what’s-the-world-coming-to rant, the logical extension from Madvillainy’s “Shadows of Tomorrow." A lot a tracks feature Madlib’s business observations like, “Cats’ll drive miles for hours to hear what you sayin’/If you’re ***ty, niggaz throwin’ bottles in they city." But in a lot of other ways, it seems like Jackson ascribes to the Brian Eno school of lyricism, especially in the way he uses Quasimoto. It’s all there for presentation, another sound in the dense mix. Meaning is somewhat irrelevant.

These little eccentricities make for a unique hip hop album that’s not even guaranteed to appeal to straight hip hop heads. And this is where The Further Adventures starts separating itself from becoming The Unseen, Pt.2. The Unseen was chill while still being out there. I mean, who else comes out as a helium-huffing alien aardvark? That’s some Kool Keith *** right there. But there’s a distinct jazz influence on that album, the kind of calming, head-nod inducing stuff A Tribe Called Quest tunes are capable of. Except there’s that aardvark, man.

III. The Significance or, This is the Pretentious Part

The Unseen was fairly accessible, given the circumstances. This album is a fresh tongue-in-cheek, stream-of-consciousness take on hip hop from a Melvin Van Peebles fan. There are threads of relation to the predecessor but this is wholly unique beast. Each song is one passing moment of stoner epiphany to another. Actually, that’s probably the best way to delineate the album.

Like stoner thoughts, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas comes unselfconscious. If an idea is bad, and there are plenty of half-baked ideas here, the album takes it in stride and what’s more, it might recycle the idea a few songs later. And it’s odd, because, after the second time around, sometimes it sounds better. For example, you’ve got “Bus Ride," a tune that’s got a sample of an old drunk begging for a sip right in between every verse, sometimes right in the middle of verse. It’s hammy. But then you’ve got “Another Demo Tape," which uses a similar formula and it doesn’t sound half as bad.

In the same stoner mentality, The Further Adventures establishes a truly choppy train of thought. Overall, the final product sounds more like a turntablist album than anything else. Fleeting, sample-happy tracks are often impressive but simply cannot command immediate attention. Patience ends up being the real key to the album.

You know those Family Circus cartoons where they’ve got Billy running around and he’s got the zany, zig-zag trail behind him? That’s this album. It’s not a step forward, it’s a step to the left, followed by four to the right, a jump up and a moonwalk down the street. If a more daring, left-field hip hop album comes out this year, I’ll be surprised.



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3.9
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The Unseen

Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 16th 2005


2125 Comments


I really like the way you write man. This album sounds interesting.

Iai
Emeritus
May 16th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome. I've been wanting to check this since you first namedropped it in Alt/Indie.

Even if the album sucks, the review made me chuckle.

Zesty Mordant
May 17th 2005


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude, that is such a great review.

I've been digging a lot of Madlib/Quasimoto/etc. stuff lately and I've been meaning to get this album, though I think I should get the Unseen first.

Robert Crumb
Emeritus
May 18th 2005


165 Comments


Could be a good idea. Both are great listens, although I still prefer The Unseen for now.

Happymeal
May 19th 2005


330 Comments


Awesome review. It's my first time listening to this guy and I'm a bit put off by the heliumized rapping sometimes, but the production is just amazing.

Mekkalayakay
May 22nd 2005


167 Comments


This is one of the best reviews I think I've ever seen. And not just on this site. I read tons and tons of amazon reviews daily. Well done....



Zesty Mordant
May 25th 2005


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well I bought it today and so far I love it. Bullyshit and Greenery, and Raw Deal are my favorites so far.

STLMiguel
May 25th 2006


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, I think I'll review The Unseen in the near future. You know I love me some Lord Quas!


Zebra
Moderator
May 25th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This album is great. My favorites songs are Greenery, Bartender Say and Raw Addicts Pt.2. The only factor that brings this down is how some songs obviously feel like filler.

STLMiguel
May 25th 2006


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Do you have The Unseen, Zebra? Do you have a favorite of the two?

Zebra
Moderator
May 25th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I prefer The Unseen over this although both albums are quite similar. My favorite songs off of it are probably Bad Character and Jazz Cats Pt. 1.

STLMiguel
May 25th 2006


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, "Bad Character" is my probably my favorite Quasimoto song. And I agree about The Unseen being better.

The Jungler
June 28th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review, I got dibs on The Unseen.

The Jungler
September 23rd 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I can't decide if I like this better than The Unseen or not, they're really really different. Closer is one of my favorite rap songs of all time I think.

The Cd's a bit too long though.This Message Edited On 09.23.06

heyseuss
December 7th 2008


384 Comments


Mm, Greenery and Hydrant Game are crazy tracks. Nice job on the review too.This Message Edited On 12.06.08

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 7th 2008


4956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

holy 3 years late.

heyseuss
December 7th 2008


384 Comments


Chillax man, before I got this record this week I only had heard 'The Unseen'.

Jekub
June 1st 2010


218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the unseen is a bit better in my opinion, but there are some good tracks on this as well!

greenery and maingirl are my favourites

bloc
November 16th 2010


35025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Argh, why do the vocals have to be tuned high? Very annoying to listen to.

foxblood
October 19th 2011


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

my man with the rasta got the best green pasta



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