The Unseen

...the most addictive record you'll spend your entire summer trying to decipher.

In reaction to the erudite texts dropped by Common and Mos Def last year, the latest trend to sweep underground hip-hop involves dosing your lyrics with a psychotropic gloop that lends your rhymes a pure weirdness (Infesticons and Anti Pop Consortium, we doff our baseball caps respectfully in your direction). Quasimoto's debut album is one more inspired step into, quite literally, The Unseen.

Over hyperactive beatscapes from Madlib (of San Francisco's Lootpack), the helium-vocalled Quasimoto skitters about the seedier streets of SF, whispering stoned paranoiac. It's this wasted quality that makes 'The Unseen' so compulsive; the way beats twist when you least expect them, the way samples clunk in clumsily - the way Quas views proceedings with the snotty detachment of a nine-year-old scanning the cable channels.

For all the pop sensibilities inherent in, say, 'Jazz Cats Pt 1' or the brilliant 'Come On Feet', 'The Unseen' isn't remotely 'accessible'. It's a glut of in-jokes, riddles, conspiracy theories and blunted giggles, De La's '3 Feet High...' with attention deficit syndrome and some PCP corroding its frontal lobes. It's also the most addictive record you'll spend your entire summer trying to decipher. So, let's get lost.
8 / 10

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