Here’s two recent reviews I wrote for Exclaim! Magazine for the Black Dog’s Further Vexations and Roc C & IMAKEMADBEATS’ The Transcontinental. Click the blurbs to read the full reviews. I’m pretty happy with the Black Dog review; it’s my first time writing about electronica!
When he was signed to Stones Throw, Roc 'C' stood out from his labelmates with his gruff bark and street-orientated rhymes. Divorced of that context, he's just another street rapper without a distinctive mic presence. Guest spots by the likes of Prince Po of Organized Konfusion, Rapper Big Pooh, Chino XL and the formerly-MIA Mic Geronimo only serve to highlight the lackluster quality of Roc's rhymes. Weak hooks don't help matters.
The album's centerpiece is the three-part "Northern Electronic Soul" suite, which slowly builds into a monumental shifting rhythm, shadowed by burbling synthesizers. "Stempel" is all ominous strings and foreboding tick-tock rhythms. The last five tracks take a turn toward even darker venues; "Skin Clock" throbs and pulsates like its title and "Tunnels Ov Set" is an unnerving creep through industrial terrain. Further Vexations is dense but rewards repeat listens to tease out its many intricacies. Spend some time with this one.