cLOUDDEAD – Ten (CD) (2004) (FLAC + 320 kbps)


The most artistic hip-hop has usually relied on a rapper’s ability to transmit to listeners an eye-level view of his surroundings (and possibly comment on them), but what are a group of rappers to do when those experiences — on a video shoot, no less — apparently include the following, as cLOUDDEAD claim?: “Two small girls and a handful of dressed men walk a cage full of goats across a basketball court.” (“Rifle Eyes,” their response to 9/11, is only slightly more bizarre.) The only question is whether this trio of subunderground rappers, influenced by Eno much more than EPMD, can conjure a musical backing that fully conveys the surreality of their surroundings. Surprisingly, the mélange of tape grime and nth-gen samples that constitutes Ten is certainly the proper arrangement for these psychedelic, stream-of-consciousness raps. Doseone and Why? pair their vocals or mumble or speak in nursery-school singsong, while head producer Odd Nosdam plunders thrift-shop LPs and forgotten reel-to-reel recordings for samples, often airing spoken-word passages as between-bars commentary. Random and disorienting on a first listen, Ten is actually a closely composed piece of modernist music. Not what you’d call an enjoyable listen, but one to be respected anyway, and also one that worms its way into your head.


01 Pop Song
02 The Teen Keen Skip
03 Rhymer’s Only Room
04 The Velvet Ant
05 Son of a Gun
06 Rifle Eyes
07 Dead Dogs Two
08 3 Twenty
09 Physics of a Unicycle
10 Our Name


FLAC – Datafile

320 kbps – Datafile

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