‘This above all; to thine ownself be true.’, that’s the primal advice Laertes receives from his father Polonius, and the classical gentlemen Christopher Octane Pearson and J Dirty Le Roi have too adapted this proverbium from Shakespeare’s greatest work. Their new album Method in the Madness proofs once again the outstanding capabilities of the two fine psychoacoustic architects. Crisp drums, crunchy hats, the most consistent of basses and an astonishing selection of pleasantly creepy noises, that elementary contribute through their melodic and still spaced out composition to the specific madness-soundscape. Yet there’s more method to it, than one tends to believe, and whilst embracing all the manifold possibilities of an album, the two might find themselves on thin ice.
And let me speak to th’ yet unknowing world,
How these things came about. So shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgements, casual slaughter,
Of deaths put on by cunning, and forc’d cause,
And in this upshot, purposes mistook,
Fall’n on in the inventors’ heads. All this can I
The album starts off with the already released Murmur (feat. Break) and Red Mist VIP (feat. Subterra & Gusto), which worked as teaser some two weeks back. There was a small feature in this blog about them (though only in German back then), in which was basically declared that they rock, except for one thing: Break’s misconception of the human physiognomy of hearing. Since evolution felt it was wiser to understand each other than to properly perceive subbass, hearing does not function linear: the frequencies used for speech are perceived louder than anything else. There are -as we return to the opening track- various ways of perceiving rather meaningless diva-vocals, but there is some accordance that putting them on a track (in other words: spoiling the track – but that’s not the issue here) way too loud, taking it to a club and then going after the dancer’s hearing organs, is more than just an aesthetic failure – even the chipmunks themselves admit that. I guess it was Break’s fetish let loose, since the other track he had his hands on suffers from the same problem, still
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But b r e a k my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
Besides this little discrepancy there is nothing wrong at all with the first three tracks, they are major funky and the bass is almost swimmable. The following Breakthrough however accounts for the first album-moment, and I admit a slight doubt when first encountered, that they were trying to justify and even legitimate the ongoing with the ‘be open-minded (etc.)’-speech-sample. But -and this to the album’s credit- the more I heard it, the more the song gained, and finally stood before me as subtly woven downtempo-ride (to the point of digging the jazz guitar solo in the end). Definitely one of the songs that you need an album for. The next piece too, Clarity (feat. Kemo), is rather uncommon, as it actually represents a dark HipHop elegy, that would probably have benefited from a few more words and a little less repetition, but might on the other hand even profit from the multi-layered monotony, potentially increasing the statement’s impact. Third in the row of the uncommon-track-triad is Let Me Go (feat. Marion), a plain representative of the rare Neurojazz-genre, based upon a simple and driving vamp, swinging instrumentarium (Warning: Saxophones!) and especially Marion’s enjoyable voice. Again a definite album-case, but why not?
Set Up The Set (feat. Script) is relapse in the best possible of ways then: stomping rhythm, incredibly fat bass and tons of psychotic sounds, all that mixed up with a self-reflexive ‘MC’ that reminds me so much of the moon from the ingeniously absurd Mighty Boosh-series. Set Up The Set is unquestionably upon the maddest and best moments of the album; unfortunately overshadowing its successor – the quite nice but harmless Stick & Move (feat. MC Fokus)- by far.
Bad Touch (feat. Seemore Productions) again reminds me of those tracks on Noisia’s Split The Atom-album that infamously displayed the mortality of its creators (-much to the relief of some producers that I shall not mention here), and is as little essential on an album of almost 1 ½ hours of runtime as the upcoming Show Me (feat. EBK), that -though solid- amounts to nothing more than unspectacular, gloomy soundscapes and stands as a reminder of the old age of downbeat and its energy crisis, whilst not actually contributing so much to the present.
Cometh The Horde is again madness, needs some time to run up to its full potential but ultimately unleashes a first class percussive dancing dervish; Rawness (feat. Cern) is the featured melodic masterpiece (melody here meaning the knitting together of sounds and noises), another contender for the best track on the album. Amongst the remaining there is the utterly entertaining drumstep(?)-track Turn Over The Page – a very enjoyable play with the listener’s rhythmic expectation, the relaxed and funky Weird Science, a Break-remix of Let Me Go with the vocals a bit too loud and -depending on the version- the bonus-tracks (two for the digital release), of which you really should not miss Giddy Kipper (feat. Linden & Quantum Soul).
Conclusion: Method in the Madness is indeed a great album with an enormous replay factor. Not always do they keep up the usually high level, but I’d subsume that under suspense curve. None of the songs is really a loss, and 17 tracks (including bonuses) and a runtime of almost 90 minutes are way more than one could ask for. Octane & DLR do impressively cement their status amongst the forefront of sound, and they leave us with a whole lot of new things to discover. The rest – has got to be silence.
Octane & DLR – Method in the Madness (Dispatch Recordings) – http://soundcloud.com/octane-dlr/tracks
Keep informed about new articles: http://www.facebook.com/Subsphere