The Wax Conspiracy

Luke Vibert - YosepH

This review is more segue than review. I hope we can still be friends.

YosepH was one of those CDs that I bought on a whim and came to regret doing so almost instantly.

There's no hip hop on this CD, which is, strangely enough, one of its major selling points. I'm bored of hip hop.

You know something's gotta give when the underground, that fertile wellspring of talent and good music, sounds tired and trite.

I'll segue here: It all started with J5 and their insistence on re-releasing Quality Control . And it all came to a head with a lacklustre Blackalicious concert - one that was technically proficient but, acting as a direct microcosm for hip hop in general, was lacking spirit and soul.

The last time I saw Blackalicious was a few years ago and the experience was one of those clichéd life-affirming things. There was talk of recharging spiritual batteries; a tangible exchange of energy conducted between the band and the audience, one fuelled by applause, the other by a fucking good time.
This time around there was no mention of matters spiritual, there was just the shoveling—Bali party style—of new [substandard] material and constant reminders of what was going to drop when.
This was just last month!

Now, here we are, and we have lauded as the best hip hop album of the decade (sometimes), Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by Outkast.
It's hard to be disappointed when you have no expectations, and, yet, this album managed to disappoint.
Hey Ya! is a good song but it doesn't make an album, and it certainly doesn't excuse that album's rampant misogyny.
For all its genre-bending
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is a boring album.

It's also become plainly obvious that the genius of Aesop Rock has outstayed its welcome and the Lyrics Born's much anticipated Later that Day... was a bit of a letdown.

I guess that's where YosepH comes into the picture — all squelchy synth lines, bouncy bass and amazing house/acid beats. There's an attention to detail, especially in the beats, that is, for want of a better word, sublime.

YosepH really is a monster of an album, you can almost imagine my joy when I finally dusted it off and gave it a listen. I was on my way to work so I only got to hear about half of it before I had to leave. I couldn't get the music out of my head all day - save for a small unfortunate period when I had that Rasputin song by Boney M stuck in my head.

This CD looks like this:
that writing's on a sticker

God is a colour that we can't let go
And faith is admission that we just can't win
And we are just a part of this
And we are just a part of this

Belvedere Jehosophat

Reviewed on Saturday, 14 February 2004

The Wax Conspiracy




Other reviews by Belvedere Jehosophat