FREAKS – The Man Who Lived Underground

What a perfectly odd little art-efact: a series of windows opening up to strange goings on, ruttings, gruntings, slices of a party you weren’t invited to and aren’t quite sure if that makes you happy or sad. Like a Kubrick movie, re-shot by Hype Williams. Soundwise it harkens back to the earliest house: the minimal ball-bearing-inna-tin-can jack & acid trax, albeit with 16 years of production finesse and sampler-concrete. Only a few tracks that could really be called “songs”, and even then it’s mostly just because of their lengths: a wonderfully moody descending strut called “Where Were You When the Lights Went Out”, one that explicitly nods backwards in time to Mr. Finger’s “Washing Machine.” The rest are sketches, doodles, harddrive burps, injokes, Cubase scribbles. The male vocals rewrite Prince as a gibbering crackhead. It sounds like the Basement Jaxx of “Yo-Yo” or “Get Me Off” starved on a bread and water diet, and driven a little batty from the hunger.