Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This Riz MC album is Worth It!

Not a trick -- an illusion.

From my PopMatters review of Riz MC's MICroscope -- he's a British rapper, don't you know -- some sentences:

Let's all do the smokey kokey!

When Riz turns to love, he sounds like he’s reading from the Harlequin Historical series. He tells his lady he wants to “be the first to get a taste of your creamy truth”, which is just not something you say in public. And then there’s this: “Now I’m diggin’ in your trenches, bending you / And you’re No Man’s Land, wanna enter you.” I defer to Babette Gladney from Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise: “I don’t care what these people do as long as they don’t enter or get entered.”

The beats sound really good—deep bass shudders, sproingy kick drums, a giant snare backbeat in “People”, and transient random-noise bursts with the MC’s announcements. DJ Lazersonic sometimes slips into hackneyed social alienation stuff—“the world is a noisy scary place, so that’s what music should sound like,” he seems to say—but he brings plenty of momentum and cool effects, so the beats actually sell you on the alienation.

Riz sees much with his actor’s eye, and he turns his portraits of other people around on himself.

The beats by Lazersonic and Redinho churn and pop, squeal and squirm, and Riz tries to take the edge off by cracking jokes. Sometimes those jokes are terrible. He coins the word “trashionable” for the gentrification anthem “All in the Ghetto”; a bemused look at the economic crisis climaxes with the line, “You take the piss, I’ll chop off your schlong.” But that just means he’ll try anything for a laugh, a quality as endearing as it is annoying.

Riz’s originals flip around in all sorts of directions; processing their beats feels like trying to hold freshly caught fish. The remixes just tend to pick one thing and do it over and over for five minutes. The winning exception is True Tiger’s huge and heartrending remix of “Get On It”. In what may be dubstep’s New Romantic moment, it’ll make you grab whatever light source is handy and wave it in the air. It has little to do with the rest of MICroscope, but one taste of its creamy truth won’t be enough.

No comments: