Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fresh BusDriver For the End of Summer

BusDriver's back with a new 7" single, released this past Record Store Day. It's a two track single from the Polyvinyl Record Co, a sort of indie hipster label that's taking it's first dip into hip-hop. The title is tastefully abbreviated on the cover as "ATM," but the actual full-length title is revealed on the inside record label: "Ass To Mouth."

Of course, this is BusDriver, so youths expecting a 2 Live Crew-style ditty about their favorite porn move* to shock everyone within hearing range of their school parking lot will be disappointed. But then again, it's still vulgar enough to have the phrase "ass to mouth" be the chorus, so assuming nobody's paying strict attention to the lyrics, it may be close enough.

It's actually a first-person narrative about a celebrity's fickle and ignorant fan-base who never give him a break, with the final twist being that he's as shallow and rotten as anybody in his audience. In other words, the vapid celebrity culture (the mouth) can't stop going on about the stupid shit their dumb stars (the ass) does. At least, that's how I took it.

It's a little harder to pin down the B-side, "Colour Wheel," because he sings on this one (it's as dubious as it sounds), and you can't decipher much of anything he's saying.

Both songs here are produced by Loden, a Belgium producer who 's been putting out spacey electronic music for a while now, and who probably connected with BusDriver through signing with Mush Records. Apparently, Loden will be producing the entirety of Bus's upcoming album (for which this is the opening single), which... after hearing this, I can't say I'm too against. It's all about synths, keyboards and spacey computer sounds - so I definitely suggest heads try before they buy - but I like it. It may not be a preferred style, but I don't think anyone could say that Loden isn't quite expert at playing it. Plus BusDriver's all-over-the-place vocal stylings are able to complement the crazy, rising and falling rhythms like nobody's business. I imagine the catchy chorus (is he doing all the back-up vocals, too? I bet he is) will manage to hook a lot of listeners who don't even generally give hip-hop their ear.

Now, this is limited to 1000 copies, but really... calling any hip-hop vinyl run of 1000 "limited" is a bit of a stretch. I'm sure even the producers behind a Kanye/Outkast split LP wouldn't expect to sell more than a thousand copies of wax to today's audiences. Bit I digress. "ATM" is pressed on a marbleized blue vinyl which matches nicely with the abstract imagery of the picture cover. Polyvinyl must also be commended for the inclusion of a download slip, which allows purchasers to download mp3 versions of both tracks and the cover art from their website when you enter your unique code.

So this is a nice little package, but still pretty much strictly for hardcore collectors rather than general music enthusiasts. For one, because it's a 7" after all; and they just scream novelty collectors' toys - proper releases are 12", damn it. And two, because both of these songs are slated to be on the upcoming album that any fan who's serious enough to consider buying this single will surely be picking up in a month or so when it drops anyway. So hardly essential, but a it's fun, high quality and can be had cheap. Oh, and the actual music's pretty good... at least the A-side.

*Don't bother denying it; I've seen your download history!

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