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Psychedelic Weather

A 8 track underground rap/hip-hop album (24m 36s) — released August 21st 2015 on Greater Fools Records

Making beats based on sampling jazz and soul music, Otakhee is an artist who has reached his own unique place through unorthodox methods of craftsmanship. He tends to segregate himself from common methods of sampling in hip-hop music. Several aspects of his approach to music were closer to those of Musique Concrète than of hip-hop; the part where he seems to have sampled Tae-Hwan Kang's phrase, for instance. Contemporary classical music and free jazz have always been a great source for sampling, proven by several works of DJ Shadow, under the assumption that the producer properly understands the music.

After releasing his first EP [Smoked Jazz], an album which sounded like Sun Ra has worked on it with an MPC, dwelling in a basement somewhere in Korea, Otakhee is back with a strong partner, MED a.k.a Medaphoar; the veteran rapper representing the underground label Stones Throw. This is where and when a world-class underground emcee meets the most radical hip-hop producer of Korea. Actually, the words 'Korea' and 'hip-hop' in the previous sentence has no meaning in this record. I could only predict that the combination of these two artists would be very interesting.

The album was an outcome which weirdly surpassed my predictions. MED's verses, which were full of life, were compensated by Otakhee's ethnic beats enough to gnaw away the listeners. It sounds pretty awesome in a dazed state of mind-where I am in right now writing this-as it provokes me with images of being trapped in a suspicious ancient temple, just as Sun Ra's records do. It is a production of a more sensitive than sharp sampling work.

Otakhee and MED solidify the color of the record from the first track "Wurrup". DJ Romes, a member of Madlib's group Lootpack, and the producer of the famous [Hamburger Hater Breaks], features on the track with scratches to add flair to the track. The track whose beat seems indifferent, but actually delicate enough to raise tension, "Mass Hysteria" features cuts by the most influential DJ/producer in Korean hip-hop, DJ Soulscape.

Otakhee provides beats such as "P.E.G.A", where repetitive snares ominously hit the head, and "Through The Air", which he slowly engraved the beat to be aggressive and firm. "Blank 2" reminds me of the intro of Radiohead's "15 Step" in a way, an evidence that this album was not produced with hip-hop as the boundaries of genre. "Psychedelic Weather" with scratches as the melody on top of resonances of shamanistic snares serves as a good example to represent the record.

Instrumental versions of "Wurrup" and "Mass Hysteria" was also included in the album for the listeners who enjoys reading between the lines in the beats. The cold-shriek-like beats on this album seems to share intersections with early industrial music like those of Einsturzende Neubauten and artists from the label Anticon; distinct timbre, but difficult to grasp the true nature of the groove.

This is a record where fragments of sounds were destructively fused on top of doomy intensity. It is also one of the rare works that uses blankness to the fullest, which can be a risky choice if the purpose or the precision is not on point. This record was perfectly rounded off; solemnity without the fuss and almost lightless meditative view of the world closes up on the listeners.

It is a strange distillation of a turbulent era and season. There are no unnecessary ornaments, which makes it seem to travel anywhere. This is the steps of the shadows by an artist who's seeking for the place he is in. These are the sounds located somewhere between black and white, California and Seoul, and motionlessness and motion. With all senses kidnapped, a new order is suddenly pushed in.

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