Sunday, October 24, 2004


Returning to the alphabet soup of the mindisc, next up are why?, odd nosdam and doseone otherwise known as cLOUDDEAD, from hip-hop outer limits and lover of dead dogs. Their second album and probably their last is called "ten", for no discernible reason. In fact, it's the first proper album, as the eponymous first platter was a collection of singles and EPs.

cLOUDDEAD are transplanted Cincinnatians, now plying their trade amongst the Anticon Collective based on the East side of the bay, Oakland. Some of you, on hearing Oakland, would immediately think of Mr "Can't touch this", MC Hammer. The Hammer, of course, was one time "creative director" for the Oakland athletics baseball team. That gig was in the dying days of Charlie Finley's club, the butt of most jokes as it sought to plumb new depths of cheapness.

Well, 'ten" has a tenuous connection with the Athletics as "Two Dead Dogs", with its incongruous "tweet" nicked from the birdy song, relates guard dogs at Oakland's Coliseum that hideous concrete bowl resting in industrial clutter near the freeway.

"From the height of a highway on-ramp we saw:
2 dogs
dead in a field
glowing on the Oakland Coliseum
green seats wasteland"

I'm sure some of you would be turned off by the fact you'd find this CD in the "Hip-Hop" section at the Virgin megastore. Equally, your average "urban" lover would toss this on the trash heap.

No name checks for 50cent here. Instead it's the likes of Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), Yorkshire post-rockers Hood (on whose "cold') cLOUDDEAD guested), Hanna Barbera cartoons and the beat poets. No misogynist lyrics, pumping up egos, ridiculous references to turf wars, dissing other rappers. ten resembles less Eminem than M&Ms.

why? and doseone observe the seemingly ordinary urban goings on - such as "dead dogs on the highway". They say that their surreal lyrics are, in fact, observations on things that they see on their travels around the East Bay.

Who can diss (sur)reality?

:: Posted by pete @ 18:55