“Hailstorm & Maelstrom”
(Already Dead Tapes)

Doseone. Juiceboxxx. Signior Benedick the Moor. These are the guys who operate within hip hop, but who only really exist there on the surface of the genre. Dig in a little deeper to any segment of their catalogs, and you’ll be surprised at how much really goes on. It’s “hip hop” in shelving category only. After that? All bets are off.

Hailstorm & Maelstrom is Coin Locker Kid’s addition to the conversation, and it’s a stunner. The tape is the story of an artist not willing to be confined to genre, or any preconceived idea, in fact. The inside of the j-card even states, “The story of a boy who disappears into a beautiful woman,” questioning even the boundaries we place on ourselves as physical human beings.  These are big, important ideas, and they’re quite au courant. Start listening to Coin Locker Kid, everybody.

Hints of ragtime (“Ragdoll”), noise (“Boy toy, pts. 1 & 2”), synth pop (“The mannequin”), experimental collagist weirdness (“The absence of soil, air, and law,” all 13 minutes of it!), punk (“Superpredator”), musique concrete (“(screamer)”), blue note (“Still”), and folk (“Begotten”) make appearances, all of them done well. By the time you get to the end of the album, “Memory of a boy (who doesn’t exist)” (where CLK pulls a wild-eyed Signior Benedick jam, and perfectly), I’ve almost forgotten that this started out hip hop.

What a breath of freakin fresh air. This tape’s all over the place. In a good way. Enjoy these kinds of releases that revel in their own madness, because they don’t come around too often. They’re a treat. This is one of those.

--Ryan Masteller