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Fifty percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce and if R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” is any indication, the outlook for hip-hop marriages is even bleaker. It’s hard enough to keep a relationship together these days, so what chance does a rapping husband and wife team have?

Somehow, Bronx-born beatsmith Raphael LaMotta and his singing Australian wife Dana Diaz-Tutaan make it work. Together they’re Apsci (short for “applied science”) and they’ve just released their debut album, Thanks for Asking. Underneath the drum machines and synthesizers are the unmistakable sounds of matrimonial bliss. On tracks like “Robosex,” Diaz-Tutaan sounds so enamored with her husband that she’s apparently able to look past his uncanny resemblance to Billy Corgan.

LaMotta’s rhymes evoke Mike Skinner’s and Eminem’s, but his production technique owes to a much more diverse set of influences. Traces of Aphex Twin, Radiohead, and Kraftwerk all pop up on tracks like “Tirade Highway” and the glitchy “Pep Rally.” For her part, Diaz-Tutaan’s record collection is at least as large as her husband’s. She’s obviously spent as much time with jazz standards as she has with the Warp catalogue.

Together Mr. and Mrs. LaMotta explore some pretty interesting sonic possibilities. Ever wondered what it would sound like if the Streets cut a track with Glen Miller? How about Eminem and Bjork? “Voice Print Identification” and “Puttin’ on the Fitz” offer some good clues. Any remixes or mashups would be redundant.

Apsci tour dates: 8/8, New York, NY (Pianos) 8/12, Philadelphia, PA (The Fire) 8/15, New York, NY (Pianos) 8/17, Burlington, VT (Nectars) 8/22, New York, NY (Pianos)

Link: Apsci official site

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