cLOUDDEAD
cLOUDDEAD Mush http://www.tinymixtapes.comsites/default/files/arton2173_0.jpg

[Mush; 2001]

Rating: 5/5 5 / 5 (0)

Styles: experimental hip-hop, ambient rap
Others: Themselves, Boards of Canada, Hood


http://media.tinymixtapes.com/


DJ Shadow truly broke new ground with Endtroducing back in 1996. It was the album that changed the way I listened to music, and also drastically changed the type of music I listened to. Shadow demanded my attention in a way that I had never been challenged before. Endtroducing is still in my top five albums of all time, and my favorite hip-hop album to date. The entire record is based on extremely rare samples from Shadow’s vintage vinyl collection. “Midnight in a Perfect World” continues to be the apex of songs ever produced in the hip-hop field. Consequently, I have been patiently waiting for the album that could contend with Endtroducing.

Enter cLOUDDEAD. cLOUDDEAD are true pioneers of their field. They come from the underground hip-hop collective known as Anticon. cLOUDDEAD, their eponymous 2001 debut, is the most experimental hip-hop album I’ve heard thus far. In fact, the back cover even refers to it as “American-made avant hip-hop.” This incredibly talented trio consists of Dose One, why?, and Odd Nosdam, who currently reside in San Francisco. Inside this 73 minute gem is some of the most bizarre freestyling you can imagine. Fronted by Dose One and why?, the vocals can only be described as “nasal.” Half the time you can’t even understand what they’re saying. It doesn’t really matter, though, because each beautifully packaged CD comes with the lyrics plastered inside. Once you follow along with the lyric sheet, you’ll see just how verbose these guys can be. It’s enough to make a person’s mind swirl. Idiosyncratic sounds come out of these two emcees that not many music fans have heard before. It’s somewhat reminiscent of B Real from Cypress Hill. Don’t be afraid, though, it grows on you very quickly.

cLOUDDEAD consists of six limited edition 10” records released between 1998 and 2000 that have been conveniently compiled on to one disc. Each record contains two movements of the track. You’d be extremely lucky to find all six 10” records at one time, so the CD will probably have to do. “Apt. A” is the first of the six releases. It begins with a serene introduction of soundscapes that are eventually taken over by Odd’s signature lo-fi beats. This is when you are first introduced to the likes of Dose One and why?’s vocal skills. It’s also at this point you will either love or despise this album. Admittedly, cLOUDDEAD is not for everyone. However, if you like your music straight off the warning tracks of left field, this will be right up your alley.

“And All You Can Do Is Laugh” is the second installment of tracks. Homage is paid to those who have died and are now “underground.” Bob Ross is the first. He’s the 70’s painter everyone has seen on public television. Ross is best known for painting “happy little trees,” and sporting the finest afro ever on a white guy. Some others that are mentioned include former presidents Herbert Hoover, Grover Cleveland, and Calvin Coolidge. Part 2 of “And All You Can Do Is Laugh” shows DJ Signify cutting vocals into pieces. “I Promise To Never Get Paint On My Glasses Again” and “Jimmybreeze” carry on with the same avant-garde structure. The beginning of “Jimmybreeze” is the second biggest highlight of the album. It begins with a prank phone call to a goofy gentleman that thinks he’s being interviewed for a position in why?’s fictitious rock band. The true highlight, however, is the Moody Blues sample that is used halfway through the first movement of “I Promise To Never Get Paint On My Glasses Again.” It’s the pinnacle of the album. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it. It’s too bad it only lasts for about 45 seconds. “cLOUDDEAD no. 5” and “Bike” finish the album. At this point, the album produces some of the most beautiful, psychedelic hip-hop yet. It’s also when you’ll realize you’ve found an album that will give you many hours of entertainment.

Most hip-hop albums are repetitive, and tend to get old very quickly. Some even have drum loops that repeat for 6 minutes without changing. cLOUDDEAD is far from those kinds of releases. Just when you think you have a song “figured out,” it changes course and goes down a completely different dark alley. You could probably even spend about two weeks working your way through the lyric sheet on the inside sleeve. My only warning is that you may have to listen to this album at least five times to even come close to adequately dissecting it. The first time I listened to it, I had already forgotten what I’d heard by the time the last song had finished. All I knew was that I was extremely impressed, and that I had finally found and album that could contend with DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing.

DJ Shadow truly broke new ground with Endtroducing back in 1996. It was the album that changed the way I listened to music, and also drastically changed the type of music I listened to. Shadow demanded my attention in a way that I had never been challenged before. Endtroducing is still in my top five albums of all time, and my favorite hip-hop album to date. The entire record is based on extremely rare samples from Shadow's vintage vinyl collection. "Midnight in a Perfect World" continues to be the apex of songs ever produced in the hip-hop field. Consequently, I have been patiently waiting for the album that could contend with Endtroducing.
Enter cLOUDDEAD. cLOUDDEAD are true pioneers of their field. They come from the underground hip-hop collective known as Anticon. cLOUDDEAD, their eponymous 2001 debut, is the most experimental hip-hop album I've heard thus far. In fact, the back cover even refers to it as "American-made avant hip-hop." This incredibly talented trio consists of Dose One, why?, and Odd Nosdam, who currently reside in San Francisco. Inside this 73 minute gem is some of the most bizarre freestyling you can imagine. Fronted by Dose One and why?, the vocals can only be described as "nasal." Half the time you can't even understand what they're saying. It doesn't really matter, though, because each beautifully packaged CD comes with the lyrics plastered inside. Once you follow along with the lyric sheet, you'll see just how verbose these guys can be. It's enough to make a person's mind swirl. Idiosyncratic sounds come out of these two emcees that not many music fans have heard before. It's somewhat
reminiscent of B Real from Cypress Hill. Don't be afraid, though, it grows on you very quickly.
cLOUDDEAD consists of six limited edition 10" records released between 1998 and 2000 that have been conveniently compiled on to one disc. Each record contains two movements of the track. You'd be extremely lucky to find all six 10" records at one time, so the CD will probably have to do. "Apt. A" is the first of the six releases. It begins with a serene introduction of soundscapes that are eventually taken over by Odd's signature lo-fi beats. This is when you are first introduced to the likes of Dose One and why?'s vocal skills. It's also at this point you will either love or despise this album. Admittedly, cLOUDDEAD is not for everyone. However, if you like your music straight off the warning tracks of left field, this will be right up your alley.
"And All You Can Do Is Laugh" is the second installment of tracks. Homage is paid to those who have died and are now "underground." Bob Ross is the first. He's the 70's painter everyone has seen on public television. Ross is best known for painting "happy little trees," and sporting the finest afro ever on a white guy. Some others that are mentioned include former presidents Herbert Hoover, Grover Cleveland, and Calvin Coolidge. Part 2 of "And All You Can Do Is Laugh" shows DJ Signify cutting vocals into pieces. "I Promise To Never Get Paint On My Glasses Again" and "Jimmybreeze" carry on with the same avant-garde structure. The beginning of "Jimmybreeze" is the second biggest highlight of the album. It begins with a prank phone call to a goofy gentleman that thinks he's being interviewed for a position in why?'s fictitious rock band. The true highlight, however, is the Moody Blues sample that is used halfway through the first movement of "I Promise To Never Get Paint On My
Glasses Again." It's the pinnacle of the album. You'll know what I mean when you hear it. It's too bad it only lasts for about 45 seconds. "cLOUDDEAD no. 5" and "Bike" finish the album. At this point, the album produces some of the most beautiful, psychedelic hip-hop yet. It's also when you'll realize you've found an album that will give you many hours of entertainment.
Most hip-hop albums are repetitive, and tend to get old very quickly. Some even have drum loops that repeat for 6 minutes without changing. cLOUDDEAD is far from those kinds of releases. Just when you think you have a song "figured out," it changes course and goes down a completely different dark alley. You could probably even spend about two weeks working your way through the lyric sheet on the inside sleeve. My only warning is that you may have to listen to this album at least five times to even come close to adequately dissecting it. The first time I listened to it, I had already forgotten what I'd heard by the time the last song had finished. All I knew was that I was extremely impressed, and that I had finally found and album that could contend with DJ Shadow's Endtroducing.

1. Apt. A, pt. 1
2. Apt. A, pt. 2
3. And All You Can Do Is Laugh, pt. 1
4. And All You Can Do Is Laugh, pt. 2
5. I Promise Never To Get Paint On My Glasses Again, pt. 1
6. I Promise Never To Get Paint On My Glasses Again, pt. 2
7. Jimmybreeze, pt. 1
8. Jimmybreeze, pt. 2
9. (Cloud Dead #5), pt. 1
10. (Cloud Dead #5), pt. 2
11. Bike, pt. 1
12. Bike, pt. 2