NAH "Otheration" (Protagonist Music)

Here’s a joke for you:

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

What do you get when you combine a math rock drummer and experimental hip hop?

NAH’s Otheration cassette on Protagonist Music!

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get a little more serious, shall we? NAH is not a Gas offshoot (although I wish it was – I’m hankering for a little Wolfgang Voigt right about now). No, indeed, it’s actually Mike from shoutalicious math rockers 1994!, and the exclamation point there is intentional. Mike was the drummer, not the guitar player, even though I know you’re air guitaring sweet-ass finger runs as you read this, because you know what I’m talking about. (Doodle-doodle-doodle-doo-doo, bwah!)

Yeah, Mike does a solo thing, and it’s pretty tight, at times reminding me of Reservoir Sound maestro A.M. Breakups’s hip hop backing tracks. But NAH’s not background to anything, you son of a bitch! How dare you suggest it. Just because there are drums (and live ones, too) doesn’t mean Mike gets relegated to mere “producer.” He’s an artist dammit.

But, uh, he does work with some rappers, actually. Like he does with Givv, on “breathe, rest, dig, rule,” and it does indeed come off like a mix between Death Grips (think “Birds”) and Elucid (another Reservoir Sound alum). However, Otheration is mostly just good ol’ Mike, and the rest could easily be mistaken for Tobacco demos – there are the huge beats, gargly synths, and fuzzy fuzz that coats everything in total grime. I mean, “vcrhigh” is pretty much the template for that sound. And I have to be totally honest here – I’m an unabashed sucker for Tobacco and his ilk. Meaning I’m also an unabashed sucker for what NAH’s slingin’. And that’s no joke.

--Ryan “Terminal Velocity” Masteller