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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Quasimoto
Further Adventures of Lord Quas
Stones Throw

Rating: 8/10 ?


June 24, 2005
The first thing you hear is a short sample of what sounds like Elmer Fudd. It's hard to tell what word he is saying, and before you can figure it out there is a quick pause and the sounds of the Joker's laugh; a slow sampled, slinky soul-jazz riff and the voice of a character much more peculiar than anything Looney Tunes ever overdubbed.

Further Adventures of Lord Quas is a psychedelic aural cartoon where the main character is Quasimoto, a high-pitched reprobate whose main focuses include "smokin' trees" and flowing with whatever the stream of consciousness happens to be.

Quas is the "bad character" and alter ego of cult fave hip-hop MC, Madlib. As we know from Madlib - real name, Otis Jackson, Jr. - and his work with MF Doom, Lootpack, Peanut Butter Wolf and so on, having multiple personalities can be a healthy thing that allows the expression of many creative voices.

Like Doom, Quas raps about anything and everything in the context of relevant humor with a delivery cadence that feels unconventional. During "Hydrant Game", Quas quips, "Don't go away mad/Just go away/You ain't gotta go away mad, girl/Just go away…You ripped me for the last time, raisin' your leg on me (huh)/Now here you come back all fresh and clean as you can be."

Often, during the beginning or middle of a line, the lyrical tempo rolls slow; then, within the last two beats, Quas drops a barrage of words and ideas that leave the listener's mind gasping. Many lines, such as the following from MF Doom-feature "Closer", are stridently laughable: "MF Doom, Quas high like skyscrapers/Quasimoto gettin' more ass than toilet paper."

"Hydrant Game" also shows the proclivity of Jackson to use Melvin Van Peebles film dialogue samples in his production. During one segment, a sampled voice calls, "I done tried to tell ya" as Quas and a guest MC respond, "The world ain't all that high/the world ain't all that, no/the world ain't all that, true/So now who's the fool?"

There are some moments in which this sporadic mashing of skits is too experimental, when the mix becomes a distraction to any sense of a groove. Then again, in the best Frank Zappa recordings, cohesion came from a structured sense of overall idea even though at times the music seemed frenetic and disjointed. That being said, something tells me that Zappa doesn't occupy too much of Quas's mind and/or record collection.

The overall production of Further Adventures is mostly indebted to straightforward musicians of old soul and jazz-funk records from the 60s and 70s. Most of the sampled elements are either brief, repetitive riffs ("Bus Ride") or melodies sped up by twice their original tempo ("Bartender Say"). When Quas is hitting on all cylinders, the samples are setting off body shaking fits and head nods from hip-hop nerds, and his helium voice incites chuckles as well as head scratches. Further Adventures of Lord Quas is a record that can satisfy the cult fan just as it will sate anyone who has an open mind to music that creates its own barriers.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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