Music Reviews

Deep Puddle Dynamics

The Taste of Rain – Why Kneel


Finally. An indie rap album in recent years so distinctive and shockingly definitive as to simultaneously make your jaw drop and your mouth water. Deep Puddle Dynamics, a supergroup of four hallowed cross-country indie MCs, traverse similar existential and subversively surreal lyrical territory as MC Paul Barman, with scattershot flows that precariously tumble over all previous notions of meter, cadence, and often beat itself. Like Frank Zappa, King Crimson, or Primus in the rock hemisphere, Deep Puddle Dynamics are enamored with their own hip-hop chops but spend the majority of their time using their unquestionable talent attempting to shift their respective genre’s paradigm through utter weirdness: whether it’s emulating the noises of jungle creatures, sampling what sounds like the detached soprano from Edgard Varèse’s “Poem Électronique,” engaging in a tuneless round, or just providing an outlet for Cincinnati’s Dose One, whose nasal whine makes B-Real (or Les Claypool, for that matter) sound like a spokesman for allergy medicine.

Like Dose One, Deep Puddle’s Alias, Slug, and Sole have flows that are downright avant-garde, with little consideration for meter, maddening vocabularies, and poetic mindsets usually reserved for the most cerebral literary figures. The six-man production team, also Anticon stalwarts, lay sluggish cymbal-heavy breaks over distorted tech-noise and dynamic orchestral swells. Deep Puddle’s jagged, hyper-metaphorical rhymes at their most comprehensible still involve dissonant drone or constant allegro velocity. At their least, it’s Dose One “clarifying” his intentions over lethargic strings and cawing crows: “I’m eluding, and rightfully so, to salvage clearheaded-ness of composed fated state of human being.” Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Compton anymore.

Anticon, 430 E. Grand Ave., Suite A, South San Francisco, CA 94080

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