Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review: LAMPGOD & **Ł_RD//$M$

LAMPGOD & **Ł_RD//$M$ **$$EXT8PE?? (Bootleg Tapes, 2013)

It's safe to say that **$$EXT8PE?? is fairly dirrty. Not like you needed me to tell you that - the fact that it's being released alongside a strange promotional porno-video-collage and features song titles such as "**A$$IANMA$$TERBATION??" is telling enough. But **$$EXT8PE?? isn't just conceptually nasty, for it sounds grimy as hell too, encapsulating the grotty mixtape stylings that one may find on a Memphis rap tape.

At its core, **$$EXT8PE?? is a messy sound collage, comprised of stock music, soul and YouTube rips, all presented underneath a veil of hiss and static. It's an interesting approach even without the porn aesthetic, but the successful marriage of thematics and music takes **$$EXT8PE?? above and beyond other internet mixtapes and into its very own tightly-knit world of trash. The overriding motif of this album, just in case you haven't already figured it out, is pornography, and although this is mainly conveyed through the track titles, certain loops strongly allude to illicit love. Tracks like "**P.O.V.(2011)??", "**BLACKONBLACK??" and "**BU$$TEDCHEATING??" feature crushed soul samples with lyrics that definitely imply love-making, and on "**BABY$$ITTERGET$$CaUGHT??" a Bobby Womack snippet is screwed into a sexy, perverted jam. There's nothing particularly unique or new about the methods of sampling here, but these choice cuts are so intriguing and unpredictable that the album feels rather singular in its nature, and quite unlike any other sound collage project that 2013 has brought us (Ahnnu, Andrew Pekler, etc.).

In a year rife with small-time internet producers re-appropriating the past, LAMPGOD and **Ł_RD//$M$ have worked wonders with **$$EXT8PE??. It's an exciting, invigorating album, and it serves as even more proof that sample-based music can create enticing experiences with their palette of plundered sounds.

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