“The year was 2000. The Wackacons had invaded the Emerald City. Parties grew listless and nightclubs suffered greatly under the Wackacons’ ever-growing influence. Repetitive loop manufacturers, lackluster DJs and angst-filled metal pushers aligned with the Wackacons and quickly flourished in our once-great city … It is the primary objective of Optimus Rhyme to rid the world of Wackacon oppressors.”
Optimus Rhyme’s self-titled recording lives up to the spirit of the bizarre press release from which we quote above. If you get the weirdly creative “Optimus Rhyme,” click immediately to track No. 2, “Cybernetic Circuits,” a hilarious, fast-flowing rap that meshes technology and hip-hop boastin’. Only in Seattle will you get an MC thumping his chest about hacking:
“I got five hard drives with 89 gigabytes.
I eat databases, networks and websites.
I got vicious viruses that devour these satellites.
Encryption deciphering all that you read and write.”
Optimus Rhyme features a programmer (Powerthighs, the guitar player) and Web designer (Wheelie, one of three MCs).
Optimus Rhyme celebrates its new album with a show 9 p.m. Saturday at the Rainbow ($5, with 100th Monkey also performing). And “live” show really does mean live, here. Powerthighs plays guitar, Stumblebee bass and Grimrock drums, with Wheelie, Cyberman and Broken English on microphone duty.
Wheelie explains the band’s name: “It’s definitely not Optimus as in ‘number one’ or ‘the best.’ It basically represents that we don’t take ourselves too seriously and that we’re in this to have fun and get creative.”
Produced by Jack Endino, who messed around with Nirvana recordings back in the day, “Optimus Rhyme” is released by Tacoma’s Narcofunk Records (www.narcofunk.com), which is also home to 100th Monkey. Endino also worked on the 100th Monkey album, so he is getting used to hip-hop as well, maybe not quite: “The funny thing is that Jack normally works with rock bands, so when he was feeling the music he’d make these air-guitar moves,” Wheelie says. “I’ve never really seen that done before to hip-hop music, but I felt like doing it myself … “
Getting back to a recurring Optimus Rhyme theme, what about all this Wackacon stuff? One can imagine it’s an extension of the hip-hop word “wack” (meaning: lame), but what exactly is Wackacon? Wheelie answers, more or less:
“Have you ever been to show in Seattle and seen a whole room full of people standing almost perfectly still while some band is rocking out on stage? That’s weird to me. It seems to me like people should be dancing or moving when they listen to music. I definitely think that that’s a manifestation of the Wackacon presence around here. They have a hold on people.”
03. Cybernetic Circuits
04. Reel Estate
05. DJ Slaylord
06. Powder Blue Egg Hatch
08. Ford vs. Chevy
10. Fuzzy Dice
12. No Memory
16. I Heart PuBotCs
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