Curse Ov Dialect Crisis Tales

Curse Ov Dialect may have become ambassadors for Australian hip-hop when Mush released Lost In The Real Sky in 2003, but they did so through their Maori, Maltese, Indian, Pakistani and Macedonian ancestry: lyrically, it results in songs like opening track "Identity." Musically, it shows up in the world music they sample, and live, it's in the ethnic costumes they don. Crisis Tales is catchy but without pop hooks ― in fact, there are very few hooks repeated at all. However, it does contain plenty of musical experimentation. Paso Bionic is credited as producer, but input from the other four members means music that constantly morphs and changes. It's an exciting backdrop for their political raps and surreal imagery, although it doesn't work so well the few times they slow down the tempo. Rappers Raceless and Vulk Makedonski are tight on the beats, while vocalists August the 2nd and Aturungi experiment much more with their flows, not always successfully. The album also features an international gathering of guests, including Australia's Elf Tranzporter (still one of my favourite rap names) and Japan's always-enjoyable Kaigen, many of them on multilingual posse cut "Colossus." A bold, broad album, Crisis Tales proves just how far hip-hop can go, both geographically and musically. (Staubgold)