Puppetmastaz Creature Shock Radio

Although the true puppet masters behind this Gorillaz-like crew of urban "figures” may be shrouded in mystery, the Berlin-based Puppetmastaz reveal just a little bit more of their mythology with their sophomore album, Creature Shock Radio. Core crew critters Snuggles the Bunny, Mr Maloke, Panic the Pig, the Wizard, and a huge collection of others drop funny-voiced raps about their mythical B.O.G. ’hood, the magical Emerald Forest, and the always potent Martian Juice, mixed amongst braggadocio battle raps and red-hot sex styles. While the funny voices and inflection occasionally make for difficult deciphering, the rappers behind the figures are mostly capable with a few standouts: Snuggles the Bunny’s lisped, double-time raps; Ducci Prosetti’s guttural, reggae toasts; and E-Wizz the Shellfish’s smooth, Elvis-voiced croon. But it’s the production by the Prosetti brothers — Dino, Ducci and Ricardo — that holds the whole project together with an upbeat backdrop that blends funk, disco and electro with hip-hop for a fresh selection of rap anthems ("Bigger the Better” and "Spitwalk”), club bangers ("Do the Swamp” and "Pretending Early Morning”), and whacked-out funk jams ("Martian Juice” and "J.R. Blenda”). Puppetmastaz have turned in another fun and exciting conceptual rap album with Creature Shock Radio. (BBC)