Mike Ladd Nostalgialator

Mike Ladd Nostalgialator
Four years after its completion and limited European release, the latest masterwork of incessantly creative artist/scholar Mike Ladd is finally reaching North American shores via likely curators Def Jux. And the passage of time has done nothing to blunt this record’s progressive edge. Nostalgialator spans a broad musical expanse between raucous underground electric funk and experimental, spoken word-laced cinematics, snatching expertly from punk, rock and soul soundscapes to form a homogenous bridge across that divide. A meaty funk ethos grounds the distorted guitars, myriad electronic atmospherics and overall controlled chaotic force of "Trouble Shot,” while Ladd’s motoring jazz-rap flow anchors the double-time punk rhythm and big band horn hooks of "Wild Out Day.” The fallen pace of the disc’s second half gives way to even more experimentation, from the unconventional future soul sounds of "Off To Mars” and folk-y inflections of "Sail Away Ladies” to meandering film score instrumentation that guides the record’s title track. Each divergent style is drawn from a unified sonic palate, adding a necessary coherence to Ladd’s free roaming vision, ensuring yet another significant feat in the producer’s challenging catalogue. (Definitive Jux)