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MC Cullah on 07/06/2010 at 06:04PM
Eighteen years of age and with a confused, unhinged love for everything electric, Wisconsin based alternative hip-hop/electro artist MC Cullah is a confused, underrated genius.
Maybe genius isn't the correct term as there's many points throughout his debut LP E=MC Cullah that are far from fantastic but overall, his talent far surpass his amateur core. Armed with an array of synthesizers, laptops, samples, loops and god knows what else, the youngster has morphed a strangely impressive debut that should be ten times more popular than it is (the man has just one hundred and eighty three Myspace friends if that's something you go by for popularity).
Sitting somewhere within the realm of Prefuse 73 (but not as glitch), Flying Lotus (but not as sweaty) and Mos Def (but not as political) the music is obviously alternative and Cullah himself manages to keep up with his clever-couplets and slightly non-sequitur lyricism. It's in the same vein as Emanon (if you remember those?) and suits the summer season brilliantly. "Lovers aren't the haters when the hater tries the flavour, sound sweet behaviour with a touch of mooncake later, growth of algae greater than the saviour of the neighbour" he spits quietly on Soul Hip Hop over a chilled beat. His voice has an indescribable hoarse tinge and it aids to the music overall, adding a sense of originality to his flow and rhythm, even if his lyrics do seem a little too random at times.
There's definitely something of a disco or dance undercurrent to some the tracks and whilst it's never out and out offensive, it can be a little overbearing some of the time. Mance Daster is too repetitive for it's six minute duration and doesn't impress as much as the down-tempo material before it. The same can be said for the initially nostalgic warped 8-bit game-boy rhythm in Rocket Into The Future but after continued listens, it gets rather annoying. You could even go as far as to say that Reigning Fire is too much of a Prodigy wannabe and you may not be wrong, but it's forgiven for its interesting, impressive structure.
Still, for a self-created, self-produced debut it's glaringly original, not to mention wildly impressive. The fact that it doesn't sound like it's just been cut straight from a studio and polished to a sheen only adds to the albums personality. The Power Of Flight is basically rhythm-less and instead sees Cullah go almost spoken-word over a static-fuzz, an extremely distant percussion kick and a simplistic, two-note keyboard. It's a skewed slice of genuine alternative writing and it's wholly enjoyable to witness.
It's a little too long, standing at almost fifty-five minutes in total and some of the songs are noticeably lacking when compared to others but considering the record seemingly came out of no-where, it solidifies just how much up-and-coming talent there currently is just waiting to be discovered.
-Brad Kelly via Strangeglue