Radio Quarantine – Origami (降神) – 望 ~月を亡くした王様~ (2004)

It could just be that having no knowledge of the language makes it easier to just settle in and ride the vibe with ORIGAMI. You’re going to “get” and feel the vibe right from the first track. I think the first time I wrote about Origami in this space that I was not going to bother with any trash about cultural appropriation or the like. Again, hip hop is the universal music by now. There’s nowhere on the planet that anyone you speak to doesn’t either feel it or fear it, so it’s sunk in that deep. You’re going to get it one way or another. And who knows? It may end up being one of those human milestones that unites everyone. That’s probably wishful thinking but… fuck all that. Whether you feel or fear hip hop this album is going to impress you.

And on the side note, this is another case where the art sells it, at least to click it open. It’s that sort of frightful, weird Francis Bacon images. My take is that when the cover art is this good, the music can’t be all bad. That’s spoken from the experience of over four decades of consuming music.

But this is a special album. There is very little from the realm of recorded music it doesn’t draw on and drop into the mix. Hip hop, ambient, trip-hop, glitch, blah blah blah and so on. There’s even nature recordings like flowing water and rain and birds in there. There’s spoken word poetry. It’s deep! It’s also dark. This isn’t “polite” music. It’s hard.

And that’s about as close to a review as you’re going to see here. Who can write academically at 7 in the morning? Not this guy. It is legit the coolest production though that I’ve heard from the genre in years from any part of the world. it’s fierce. it’s also from 2004 so the scene that produced these guys may not even be there anymore. Maybe it devolved into namedropping designers and eating ass the way the mainstream rap did here. It doesn’t sound dated though, so…

Fourth of July weekend opening up with cool rain here though so sitting here for now is just fine. No real plans for the next three days. Well, there’s a bit of an adventure tomorrow going out to meet “a person of interest,” and that’s sort of a big deal for me. It was only half-consciously that I opted to ride out the last year on the monastic tip and thereby avoided questions like, “What are you looking for?” How do you answer questions like that? You could go through the rigamarole of listing traits you’ve gotten on well with in the past but then you have to ask, if that’s what you wanted or needed what happened? So the honest answer is, “I don’t really know.” I only mention this here, buried in the context of musical exploration, because why not. What am i looking for when I search through the ether every day for new music? I’m looking for something I haven’t experienced before. Words I’ve not spoken nor heard spoken before, or even something presented in a fresh way. I’m looking for experience, for now. I’m looking for a vibe. It’s the same thing.

The patriotism thing doesn’t move me. It’s not a lack of love for this big, hot mess I call home. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just the things that I am most proud to be connected to and a part of aren’t the first things that come to mind when someone asks what I love about my country. But that’s connected to this album though. I love these special things that could only have happened here for a host of reasons, that are so fan-fucking-tastically powerful that move anyone so hears it so deeply that people on the other side of the world are driven to recreate it. More than being moved to create it, it’s transformative for them too. Hence, Origami. The best parts of American culture, to me, are those that happened despite the pain and oppression and cultural collision. It’s like cultural mutations that grew out of the poisonous, radioactive hatred and greed that founded all this… this place. It’s like a big explosion sent out a vast mushroom cloud and seeded the world.

And ain’t this a ramble today… Okay. Just throwing some thoughts out there, like I do every day.

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