C-Mon & Kypski Where the Wild Things Are

[Penoze; 2007]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: instrumental hip-hop, afrobeat, electro turntablism
Others: Public Enemy, DJ Shadow, Handsome Boy Modeling School

Rarely do I use the word bombastic. It’s all but forbidden from my vocabulary. It’s like extremely or awesome. They are words, due to my own personal taste or sensibility, that rub me in an awkward way. What can I say? — I’m a queer fish. In this case, though, the case of listening to C-Mon & Kypski (don’t be mistaken by the name; they are a group of four, not a duo), I’m going to use the word. Bombastic. Not only grandiloquent (they actually come off rather humble), but thumping, foraging, pounding — like the Bomb Squad, like lively doom, like a mauling. C-Mon & Kypski produce music that is in your face, without altering the shape and dimensions of your features.

Where the Wild Things Are may sound familiar. It was the name of a song on the Deep Puddle Dynamics album, an album that has proven invaluable to the progress of alternative hip-hop. That version, a creepy interrogation of a haunted house, differs from C-Mon & Kypski’s take on the Maurice Sendak children’s book (though they both use a near-identical female recitation of the title as an introduction). Their take is truly wild. WILD — raw and erratic. Being from the Netherlands, the group pounces on your nether regions, smashing cashews to protein dust.

C-Mon & Kypski are essentially a hip-hop meld with a variety of mixed ingredients. The tracks with guest appearances are the most eclectic of the bunch. Sadat X, Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Pete Philly, Voicst, and the rest bring their own flavors and tongues, applying diverse tastes and voices. Guitars will chug, sirens may sound, vocal timbre can shake, rhythms surely thrust, and harmonies are gleeful. C-Mon & Kypski keep it all under an umbrella, tenting everything from the Eastern hemisphere to the Western one.

A little after the halfway point, Where the Wild Things Are tames itself. Things still sound with bombast, but the eclecticism tones down. C-Mon & Kypski recline into their hip-hop and turntable roots, relying on the strength of the drum and the scratch. “In and Out of Days” is the only respite on the album, a short chill in the wilderness. Don’t get too comfy, because “Wildfire” does everything its name implies. On the final track, “Changes,” Kain the Poet perhaps sums up Where the Wild Things Are most accurately: “You’ve been misused and abused/ And now all you want to do/ Is just hang around and disco/ To your nigger warlord fratricide blues.

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