Gonervill The Album

The debut album from Gonervill is the blueprint for what a good turntablist album should be, but should anything less be expected from Bill Laswell's Innerhythmic label? Although not always successful, the blending of live and looped sounds by DJs Extrakd and Eddie Def, along with drummer Brain (currently of Primus), has created an interesting sound they call "organitronic" hip-hop. Basically what that means for the listener is a more vibrant turntablist record. Sure, the cuts on this album are often set centre stage and given major emphasis, but equal attention is paid to the sounds that are surrounding those cuts, sounds which often give the songs an ethereal, otherworldly feel. This, I'm afraid, is the music aliens groove to. However, after the windy opening track, "Voodoo," things tend to cool down for a few tracks of cuts and samples over uninspired drum beats. Too often these types of albums ignore changes in the drum patterns and that's where the next few songs (and a number of others) fall short. Things start heating back up again at track six, when guest guitarist M.I.R.V. lends his pick to the cause for the feedback-laced "Unseen Worlds." It's when M.I.R.V. and Buckethead (most famous for his stint with Axl Rose and Guns 'n' Roses) pitch in that the album gets its most lift, with tracks like "Unseen Worlds," "Let's Go Say Hi" and "Panic Attack," as well as the string arrangement laid down by Buckethead for "Muad' Dib," a nod to Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi tale Dune. Other examples of this experiment in mutation working are "Cloud of Confusion," "No Forcefield" and "Ravers' Revenge," which will scare the life out of any acid-eating raver kid, or blow their mind. Gonervill's The Album is not perfect, but it goes a long way in proving what can actually be done with albums where the turntable becomes the central instrument. (Innerhythmic)