On record :: KJHK new music reviews

Madvillain
"Madvillainy" (Stones Throw)
A+

One of the most anticipated collaborations recently in underground hip-hop, Madvillainy is the pairing of producer/mc Madlib (on the beats, with a guest appearance by his alias Quasimoto) and producer/mc MF DOOM (solely on the mic). The hype surrounding this album has been monumental, with expectations reaching an almost impossible standard. Unlike so many hyped up albums, however, Madvillainy lives up to all expectations.
Both Madlib and Doom are at the top of their game here -- Madlib's production is at its most raw, providing Doom with quirky (only Madlib could drop a beat over an accordian sample and make it hot) yet densely funky beats to spit his visual, clever, and witty rhymes over. The chemistry between the two works perfectly, and the result is a 22-track masterpiece. There are so many classic moments on this album it's impossible to even scratch the surface here.
Madvillainy is hip-hop at its finest. Cop it as soon as possible.
Kyle Garrison
Courtesy Flush, 6-7pm Fridays

Unagi
"Unagi" (442 Records)
B

Until recently, 'unagi' referred to the slightly nauseating (yet delicious in hindsight) prospect of freshwater eel served on a raised bed of rice. Poised to overtake the legend of the Japanese delicacy is San Francisco sound collagist Unagi, whose first collection of short takes is both stimulating and diverse, creating a platter that most music fans would be happy to devour.
It's obvious in the short journey through this disc that Unagi is a bonafide crate digger, and an adept one at that. From the Blaxploitation shuffle of "Good Vibes" to the meandering flutes of "Invisible Frenchman," Unagi flexes his musical tastebuds throughout. The only complaint is that the album is only 33 minutes long and packs a whopping 17 tracks. Therefore, the beats are never really fleshed out, making for something of an unfocused listen. The tracks link together in their tempo, though, and instrumental fiends from around the globe will find themselves salivating for Unagi's next go-round.
Phil Torpey
Breakfast for Beatlovers, 9-noon Tuesdays

Pewep in the Formats
"Breakfast for Ameritronica" (self-released)
B

The Kansas City-Lawrence area is musically prolific enough that we don't need to review every local artist positively for the sake of local art. Fortunately Pewep in the Formats are a spontaneous and original live show and "Breakfast for Ameritronica" translates their energy about as well as I could have hoped. Ashley Miller is the dynamic front man whose voice would probably be best in an acoustic set. But he sings with such sincerity he gets by working his vocals into these whimsical, retro-electronic/funk tunes. The songs may not be serious but they're certainly seriously performed.
Courtney Ryan
"Courtney on the Cracklebox," 4-6 am Saturdays

Various Artists
Den Haag Motor Rock Volume One (Motorwolf Records)
C-

OK, I am not going to lie to you. This comp of garage-punkers, noise rockers, and sleazy bar bands are going to be relatively hard to find here in the United States, let alone in Kansas. The question is whether or not it is worth to import. "Den Haag Motor Rock Volume One" is a collection of bands that are from The Hague (Holland). So, ok, you heard that it was cool to listen to music from another country and why not listen to the rock and roll antics of Holland? Well, this comp would suggest that Holland isn't really offering anything new. Though some of the hardcore is tedious, there are enough bands present here to recommend a purchase for all of you punk completests. Try to find it cheap, though.
Chris Knudsen
New music rotation 2-4am Fridays
("In 80 (!) minuten komen 25 (!) bands voorbij razen. Stoner-Doom, smerige junkrock, graftakpunk, vuilnisbakkensurf, garageblues, hardcore a la hagenees, en onversneden RAAAAAAWK van achter de duinen denderen over je heen." -- Jacco de Boer, Gepubliceerd op woensdag)

OnelineDrawing
"The Volunteers" (Jade Tree)
F

Ah, emo music. The current creation of post-garage madness is MTV's latest fashion and so a favorite among junior high to high schools everywhere. The floodgates have opened, the Prozac boys come running in with have acoustic guitars and their pretty faces want to have a word with you, Miss 13-year old girl. They want you to understand them -- but please, don't. This emo movement will probably be like the original grunge movement, with many rehashes and awful waves that should just fall into the wake. OnelineDrawing's record falls in the same area of Third-Wave grunge music like Silverchair or Filter -- annoying.
Chris Knudsen
New music rotation 2-4am Fridays

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