With its echoes of Wagon Christ and Funki Porcini and DJ Krush and Kid Koala, Pendulum by San Jose, California-based Hypoetical builds old-school hip-hop beats from hazy fragments of melodramatic found sounds — an association Hypoetical engages with directly by titling the album’s 21st and final track, a three-minute rhapsody for thumping beat and a handful of piano notes, “Elevator Music” (MP3). Reissued recently online for free download by the great dustedwax.org netlabel, the album dates from 2001. Its best tracks, like “Elevator Music,” keep their source material relatively unmolested. “A Turntable and a Koto Record” (MP3) sounds like pretty much exactly that, though the koto’s strings are heard to make curt, terse repetitions, much like those in “Elevator Music,” that the instrument never would in its traditional setting. Likewise the murkily orchestral “The War Within” (MP3), which makes much of a briefly bowed cello. Other favorites include the eerie children’s melody of “Staring at My Eyelids” (MP3), the romantic whorl that is “Reminds Me of Dennis” (MP3), and the overtly cinematic “Flow Job” (MP3).
Get the full set of 21 tracks at dustedwax.org. If this weren’t already a decade old, much of it would be on my “likely” list for best netlabel releases of 2011. More on Hypoetical at hypoetical.net.
2 thoughts on “A Turntable and a Koto Record (MP3s)”
My kanji is so limited, it’s silly. Thanks for the koto!