Quasimoto, ‘The Further Adventures of Lord Quas’ (Stones Throw)
For Otis Jackson Jr., life is what happens to you while you’re busy making beats. As Quasimoto (and his alter egos, Madlib, DJ Rels, and Yesterday’s New Quintet), the California producer/MC has studiously dabbled in everything from fake jazz to earthy hip-hop, often rapping about the pleasures of crate-digging (check “Return of the Loop Digga,” from 2000’s The Unseen). On the second Quas album, his work sounds frenzied and unfinished, as though he’s more interested in experimenting with squiggly textures than developing full-blown songs. Having already penned odes to his record collection, he’s now making the musical equivalent of notes on a rhymer’s yellow legal pad.
From the short-attention-span samples to the bizarre, spitfire exchanges between the helium-powered Quas and the lollygagging Madlib, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas echoes Jackson’s fractured thought process. “Rappcats Pt. 3″ catches him mid-idea, whirring to life in the middle of an interrupted loop. The charming wobble of “Players of the Game” finds its rhythm in scattered debris — tuning breaks, random pings, and try-try-again scratches. Amid the hasty scribbles and marooned, half-finished concepts, there are lots of seeds and stems. The electro thump of “Greenery” comes with its own stony echo (“Weeds, weed, weeds is what we all need, needs!”) before a sung-in-the shower yodel kills the buzz. “Closer” reverses the comedown, opening with MF Doom’s hazy vocals and ending with a British-accented monologist shouting, “Higher! Higher! Higher!”
Though Jackson’s aural non-sequiturs make for a fitful listen, the album’s disorienting structure helps him dismantle hip-hop’s redundant beats-and-rhymes clichés with reckless, unpredictable momentum. Traveling at the speed of thought, these “adventures” are thrilling — especially since there’s no telling where they might take you.