Aspects provide the surreal thrill of Kool Keith and pre-Tibet Beasties...
A fortnight before Christmas. Outside, parties rage. In long deserted record
company offices, phones ring off the hook as a solitary NME hack desperately
searches out anyone mad enough to release a decent single in the slowest week of
the year. Deadlines loom. Bolstered by a dozen Drambuie’s and 100 plays,
suddenly that new [a]Ocean Colour Scene[/a] single doesn’t sound so bad after
all. But wait! Salvation is at hand. Praise be, then, for Aspects, the latest warped hip-hop heroes to emerge from the West Coast.
That is to say, Bristol. The brainchild of Ian ‘El
Eye’ Merchant and propelled here by rap-prophet Probe Mantis and beats-technician Specify, Aspects
are that rarest of beasts: a surrealist, homegrown hip-hop outfit who refuse to
get muddled up in paranoid machismo and instead concentrate on what they’re good
at. Namely, getting stoned, watching too many bad movies and gently taking the
rise out of life.
A loving tribute to Hollywood’s ‘80s output – the worse the better –
‘My Genre’ namechecks every flick from ‘Young Guns’ to ‘Tootsie’ to ‘Revenge Of the Nerds’ (and yes, that
is all in the first verse) whilst a whacked-out loop stolen straight from ‘Miami Vice’ rolls alongside it. John Candy gets
a mention. So does Indiana Jones. If you aren’t charmed by it
you’re either Simon Cowell or Gordon Gekko.
And if all that wasn’t enough, ‘My Genre’ even comes in a
hand-painted parody sleeve, which perfectly approximates vintage video-shop
chic, complete with obligatory ’18’ certificate. Just like ‘Predator’. To recap, then: Aspects provide the surreal thrill of
Kool Keith and pre-Tibet Beasties channelled
through a movie-obsessive, Jobseekers worldview. And a haze of smoke, obviously.