Welcome to Mush Records, a little label that's trying to bring otherworldly beats circling above your head in for a crash landing.

Tonight, one of the underground's most twisted labels skips back to The City to showcase a few of its artists at the Great American Music Hall and, essentially, dump a basket of flipped-hop on the doorsteps of characteristically open-minded San Franciscans.

Founded in 1997 by DJ Robert Curcio, Mush has pushed as many buttons as it has boundaries. Originally a downtempo outfit, the label's scope eventually was expanded to include just about anything existing outside the proverbial box -- from abstract hip-hop and jazz to left-leaning rock.

Curcio and his Mush crew have worked as hard to avoid being tied down to one place as they have from one sound. The label's moved headquarters three times in five years -- Cincinnati, San Francisco, Chicago -- Packing up when things get to comfortable and hightailing it to another city like criminals on the run.

This evening, they present a carefully selected sampler of musicians from their stable who are turning the heads of both rap fans and indie rockers.

One artist dropping tunes on the notoriously fickle local rhyme connoisseurs is MC/Producer Labtekwon, who'll pull from his latest release, "Songs of the Sovereign."

He's a Baltimore born and bred poet who grew up in the ghetto, but his rhymes are strictly of the blue-blood variety.

Los Angeles-based Radioinactive's half-singing/half-rapping style is in one breath obnoxious and, another, genius. Last years "Pyramidi" isn't really experimental -- it's just downright weird.

Also on the bill are Oakland transplants why? and odd nosdam -- but this is where things get confusing. Together they make up Reaching Quiet, but they're also two-0thirds of cLOUDDEAD, which they formed with Doseone. But whether grouped as a pair or a trio, these audio conspirators make some seriously warped jazz.

Reaching Quiet allows why? and odd nosdam to toy with elements that aren't fit for any dance-floor, while the tunes they create with Doseone have even too-cool-to-dance Bay Area skate rats taking a few minutes between tricks to bounce.


Mush Records