Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tiny Mix Tapes Microphonepet Review
[Daly City, 2008]
David Wang is one funny pickle. Born in Taiwan to a rocket scientist and kindergarten teacher, he has been repping California under the name Mochipet since the age of 15. In the last few years, he has taken to wearing a purple dinosaur suit onstage, while issuing full-lengths dedicated to the arts of abstract techno, breakcore, and underground hip-hop. He’s like Kid Koala meets Venetian Snares or DJ Krush meets Bogdan Raczynski: you never know what he’s going to do next.
2007 saw Wang’s own Daly City imprint release Girls Love Breakcore. With the help of Doormouse, Otto Von Schirach, and Aaron Spectre, that record reconstituted Justin Timberlake, Invader Zim, and the act of sexually pleasing a miniature stallion into glitchy, high BPM, hardcore IDM that, for reasons evident in and of itself, was never really adored by an overwhelming percentage of females. Skip to six months later and, for fans of Girls Love Breakcore, he has gone upside our heads with a complete mind-bender.
Microphonepet comes out of extreme leftfield as one of the strongest hip-hop albums of 2008. It pools the cream of Mochi-beats as collected from 2003 to 2008 and pairs them with the finest MCs in underground rap today. Freestyle Fellowship’s Mykah9, Dopestyle (KutMasta Kurt), Casual and Opio of Hieroglyphics, oonceoonce, a couple of the Crown City Rockers and Living Legends, and many more all lend their precise vision and ballsy mic skills to a set of righteous, heavily electronic beats that run the style gamut from Prefuse 73 glitch-hop to De La Soul old school. There’s more flavor here than a year’s supply of Mr. Noodles.
"Girls & Boys & Toys" bends the bassline from Coldcut’s "Just For The Kick" into a warped dancehall chugger. Meanwhile, Jahcoozi spits musings on cruising for chicks, whenever Wang lets the constant cut-and-splice land on a beat and glide long enough for coherence. Mochi must have spent weeks dicing up those words, and the effort thoroughly pays off. The Dopestyle and Casual-aided "Mr. Malaise" dips in with an even more twisted bassline and a subtle touch of dub organ over a 4/4 beat, like Mr. Oizo discovering a hidden grime influence with much rejoicing.
The hip-hop here will equally please fans of the genre, early-’90s fundamentalists, and glitch fusion fanatics alike. Mochipet’s thick Rolodex blesses the work with an equal amount of vocal and thematic variety, far from the too-many-chefs syndrome that has plagued recent Prefuse 73 works. By itself, that’s merely great, but knowing Microphonepet came from a man who often butchers distorted electronics into 180 BPM nightmares makes this album a godsend. You have to wonder how much this Wang guy is capable of. We may be looking at the second coming of Luke Vibert, only with a better sense of humor.