The Weather, Awol One, Andre Afram Asmar
The Meow Meow, 527 S.E. Pine
May 15, 9 p.m.
All ages, $8
Despite the stellar lineup at tonight’s Mush Records showcase, it remains a little disappointing that cLOUDDEAD won’t be playing. As many good things as there are to say about The Weather, Awol One and Andre Afram Asmar, and those will be covered in due time, cLOUDDEAD so perfectly embodies the Mush aesthetic that further discussion would have been unnecessary.
It may be better, though, to not take such an easy route. After all, Mush is a mixture. Mush is anything and everything thrown together, thoroughly blended to leave no single element recognizable.
Soon this mixture is boiling over the edges of the pot and dripping onto the stove, forming little 10-inch pools of thick black liquid that immediately harden into discs.
Unaware, your roommate walks in, scrapes that slab off the stove and throws it on your turntable.
Somehow it plays and, remarkably, it sounds good. It even smells good.
This is The Weather, made up of emcees Radioinactive and Busdriver, producer Daedelus, and it is impossible to know what else. Spitting lines like “you tickle vegan women with a chicken feather and plus that whip is made of leather. If you miss each other, kiss and pinky swear,” you can hear the cackling of mad scientists posing as hip-hop artists within every rare breath on this record.
Very few emcees would be able to hold their own against beats as insistent as Daedelus’, but Radioinactive and Busdriver not only maintain flow, they manage to keep the lyrics interesting on both the immediate-gratification and the further-consideration levels. Imagine all of the obscure metaphysical references, infuriating in-jokes and directionless narrative passages, all positive things, from Doseone’s work with Boom Bip, but set against more consistently driving beats and you’ll have some idea what The Weather is all about.
A germ of an idea, yes, but some idea.
Awol One’s most recent record, Slanguage, recorded with producer and Celestial Records founder Daddy Kev, is centered around sparse free jazz tracks, complete with upright bass, brushed drums and minor-key pianos. Beneath this breeze of live instruments looms the deftly programmed beats and digital manipulations that would keep this record from being confused with anything besides hip-hop while somewhere in the middle, Awol’s simple, yet deftly layered lyrics break up the rhythms with flow informed by numerous rap traditions.
With a voice that sounds like it’s coming from the bent-up trash can down the alley, Awol ruminates on audio bibles and bootleg monster movies in a cryptically direct way that makes you sure that there is something he isn’t telling you, an archetypical Mush Records objective if there ever was one.