Thursday, 15 August 2013

DangerDoom - The Mouse and the Mask (2005)

Piffle is probably the word I was looking for.

I never quite got the appeal of Dangermouse - meaning the producer rather than the 1980s cartoon rodent of espionage. Bolting Jay-Z's Black Album onto a load of old Beatles samples to create The Grey Album was a pretty nice move, but nowhere near so weirdly compelling as the guy who did the same thing with samples of the group Pavement to create The Slack Album, yielding a version of Justify My Thug that would have been the greatest thing Jay-Z ever recorded, had he actually recorded it. Dangermouse of course did that thing with wossisface from Goodie Mob, and apparently had some sort of involvement with Gorillaz, which I'd hardly offer as a recommendation. He's far from the worst producer ever to twiddle a knob or to lift trumpet solos from a Tom Jones record, but nothing stands out. To my ears, everything he does resembles a supermarket's own brand version of the 1960s movie soundtrack beats that folks like Skitz or those Herbaliser lads did a lot better. That kid at school, the friend of a friend who raps and is actually pretty good - the first tape he ever gets together will have beats by some spotty mate who sounds roughly like Dangermouse. I mean it's not terrible by any means, but...

Having only really heard MF Doom as a guest on other people's tracks, I had reasonably high expectations. He's got a good voice, and he can spin a canny line for sure, but for some reason nothing here really leapt up from the CD and forced me to pay attention, although maybe it will grow with repeat listening as he's clearly a talent.

The Mouse and the Mask is, lest I have incorrectly assumed you know what I'm talking about, a collaboration amounting to some decent lyrical work from MF Doom reduced to forty or so minutes of texture by a producer who just doesn't do it for me. This in itself wouldn't be so annoying but for there being some sort of deal with the Adult Swim channel, and so characters from Aqua Teen Hunger Force show up between tracks, and even become subject matter in a few cases. I can't tell if this is some promotional thing, or whether the chaps just love Aqua Teen Hunger Force so much that they just had to do this album in this way, but it's kind of annoying. Aqua Teen Hunger Force is one of those purportedly adult animations which makes an ironic virtue of its own low production values and unfunny jokes about cancer, rape and other side-splitters - at least I think it does: I managed about fifteen minutes of one episode before I got bored, and it was pretty much South Park on elephant tranquilisers from what I could tell. I could be completely wrong, but then I don't actually care enough to worry about it.

So here we have a CD of generally disappointing tracks interspersed with the voice of an anthropomorphic cartoon milkshake desperately trying to get on the Dangermouse album, the hilarious joke being that Master Shake isn't a very good rapper and is thus doomed to fail - tee hee - and that The Mouse and the Mask wouldn't be quite so amazing were Master Shake to spoil it by - ho ho ho - spitting the maniac lyrical all over trunk banging Dangermouse beats of hella fresh def flyness and the like.

Oh my sides.

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