BLOWING UP ABSURD
MUSH RECORDS WAIVES HIPHOP'S RULES
"I cater to the nerves of wordsmiths/ I'm here to preserve the weird and absurd in cowshit," blurts Radioinactive on "Name Forgetter," one of 15 bizarre tracks on The Weather. This line sums up the Mush Records aesthetic: Mush never stands still artistically or geographically, and weirdness is its lifeblood. The company recently moved to Los Angeles (its fifth city in six years of business), entering the vortex of a vigorous indie hiphop scene led by unconventional crews like Project Blowed and the Shapeshifters. Fueled by copious quantities of Red Bull and their entertaining bullshit, Andre Afram Asmar, AWOL One, and the Weather (MCs Busdriver and Radioinactive) bring their Mush Records multimedia mindfuck to the backpacker masses on this current 45-day tour.
The Weather is the epitome of eccentricity (now they have me writing like they rap). The incorrigible brainchild of Busdriver (Project Blowed mainstay Regan Farquhar), Radioinactive (Kamal Humphrey de Iruretagoyena, creator of the brilliant Pyramidi), and Daedelus (Alfred Weisberg-Roberts), The Weather eschews nearly every hiphop convention except rhyming. And when Busdriver and Radioinactive rhyme, they do so either at a stenographer's-nightmare velocity or in an oblong, singsongy way that'll have you simultaneously shaking and scratching your head. The African American Busdriver sounds like he's parodying white TV announcer Don Pardo as he freestyles Exquisite Corpse sentences, while Radio waxes absurd like a West Coast Paul Barman on mushrooms. You're more likely to laugh your ass off than to dance it off, as the duo tailor their tongue-twisting verbalisms to ride Daedelus' zany sonic roller coasters. An IDM producer who had no hiphop experience until recently, Daedelus has recorded for respected electronic labels such as Phthalo and Plug Research.
Unfortunately, Daedelus won't be joining the Weather on this tour, but his image will appear on the screen behind them. "We have a digital projector, so we're able to incorporate Daedelus into the show," says Radio. "We have Asmar doing the music with a combination of computer, live-time effects, and turntables. He's definitely enhancing The Weather material by adding his dub underwater spatialness [sic]." (Asmar will be plying his own polyglot dub pressure, too, as displayed on his spiritual, psychedelic Race to the Bottom disc. And don't miss AWOL One, whose skewed ramblings will make you chuckle into your hash pipe.)
The Weather sounds like a reaction to a world overrun with information and stimuli; Bus and Radio counter this madness with more of their own. Their rhymes are truly clever, but they often elude understanding--unless you're stoned or drunk. Were the rappers trying to outdo each other with surrealist imagery?