Machine Drum, Bidnezz

Philip Sherburne

By Philip Sherburne

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Machinedrum is the latest in a line of laptopping hip-hop deconstructionists to flesh out the classic boom-bap pattern with a whole lotta chakka-chakka, chugga-chugga and sizzle-boom-ba. The terrain, pioneered by Prefuse 73 and admirably updated by Dabrye, is admittedly well-trodden, but Machinedrum lays down fresh footprints with "Disa Bling," a spacious, wobbly number that hops along on a broken two-step cadence and leans on flayed vocal samples and gritty video game blips to pole-vault over the potholes. "$$Legs," on the other hand, doesn't quite have the legs the artist would like; its chopped shares and stuttering jazz piano lag behind Prefuse 73's pace-setting gait. Still, the album — toggling between ambient sketches and more fully fleshed-out compositions — kicks out the jams as the album progresses. "Offs" plays a jiggy drums-and-handclap pattern against lusciously decaying keyboards and chimes, offering a teasing pastoral panorama, and "Choech" runs digital dub through a Pachinko machine, setting off a chorus of bells and flippers. The album finishes out in fine fashion with "Ladle," an ambient grind through mulched melodies and subtly swinging lounge drumming.