OUTKAST – “Bombs Over Baghdad”

You get, what, half a second to take cover – a drawled “Yaay-uh” – and then Outkast hit you with the whitest-knuckle hip-hop you’ve heard since “Welcome To The Terrordome”. Less intense, but just as unrelenting and much speedier. “Bombs Over Baghdad” is the first rap track I’ve heard which really takes on board a Harder! Faster! dance aesthetic and comes up with the kind of kinetic videogame viscerals you used to get from hardcore. It is, let us not mince words, a fucking awesome record. In fact it’s one of the handful of records you’ll hear this year which sound like nothing you’ve heard before, which leave you groping for the wildest possible descriptions and knowing they still won’t be enough.

Fred came up with Timbaland meets the Bomb Squad, which gets the drool factor right but doesn’t quite match the sound of the record, its logic-denying shotgun wedding of delirious blitz-breaks and hot Southern funk. The first time I heard it I was baffled – it sounded good but nothing seemed to fit together. Then I heard it loud, and it worked: things don’t quite fit together, like extra parts hammered on to soup up a car. “Bombs Over Baghdad” could fall apart at any second, and that’s such an exciting feeling.

So what does it sound like? I’m saying Sly And The Family Stone forced at gunpoint to lay down a drill-and-bass track: your metaphors will probably be just as crazed. (We should have a contest). I’ve no earthly idea what it’s about – damn-all to do with Bombs or Baghdad, as far as I can see: but you get a message over anyway. Outkast are not to be aesthetically fucked with. You get wipe-out beats, an amazing doomed-up organ bassline, then cascading laptop bleeps, then a psych-funk guitar solo and speed-limit scratching. And disco backing vocals and chanting, too. It’s wonderful. Please, please find it.