$5, an open mind, and time to kill. This is Record Roulette. Enjoy.
Read the other installments of Record Roulette! You know you want to.
The Record Store: Park Ave. CD’s Orlando, Fl
The Artist: Shadow Huntaz (OH GOD WHY)
The Record: Dark Matter
The Price: $5.00
The Draw: I don’t know. Maybe I hate myself. Maybe I like to play with fire. But, how could I resist track names like “Alien Prophecies” and “Shadow Statiz (feat. Akila Da Hun).” This is going to be painful.
Maybe I’m overreacting. From what I can find, Shadow Huntaz is an experimental hip hop group comprised of various electronic artists and MC’s, who came together in 2009 to create Dark Matter. Most notable is the duo from The Netherlands who go by Funckarma. Upon first listen, I’m instantly confused. Not by the music or the lyrics, but by the actual packaging itself. My copy of Dark Matter (hell, maybe all of them) is misprinted. The songs on wax are in all different orders than the packaging. Track two on side-A, as implied by the back of the jacket, is “Implant.” But, it’s not! It’s actually “Goodnite,” which is labeled as side-B track two. “The Flames,” supposedly side-C track one, as actually side-B track one! And, almost every track is like this! It’s even mislabeled on the record’s label. I had to go online to find the right track list. I know it’s not a huge deal, but why is this wrong?
Dark Matter is essentially an album of rappers trading bars over experimental electronic tracks. The hooks are only breaks between cyphers, with each MC bringing their own diction. Unlike many rap groups, it’s easy to tell who’s rapping when, which doesn’t make the MC’s blur together. What does however blur together are the beats. The music has an almost lava lamb-type quality, with sounds distorting and morphing into each other. Songs like “Lock, Stock & Barrel,” a melodic highlight, could be featured on the soundtrack to a film in the Alien franchise. The instrumentals in whole sounds other-worldly. Fitting.
The MC’s come together and spit their verses, but I don’t hear much group harmony. I compare all rap groups to Wutang Clan, and Shadow Huntaz just kind of raps; they don’t seem unified towards something, and in whole lack purpose. Also, the MC’s sounds don’t always mesh particularly well, and sometimes clash. There’s a white guy who’s pretty annoying, and whenever he comes in, I’m done. “Shout Louder” is the worst example: his words are overly reverbed and the beat is ill-fitting. Dark Matter’s a bust.