A/V Room









Dangerdoom - The Mouse and the Mask

Review: Jack Foley

THERE are two major forces worth talking about in hip-hop at the moment and their names are Dangermouse and Kanye West.

Both artists have strove to avoid the heavy-handed, hard-hitting style of 50 Cent and co to deliver music that is both fresh, contemporary and exciting.

Whether it's mixing in samples, sourcing old-skool breaks, or dropping some of the funkiest beats around, they deliver the feel-good factor into a medium that is frequently found wanting on that front.

Dangermouse, in particular, has delighted with recent album, Ghetto Pop Life, and his collaboration with Damon Albarn's latest Gorillaz album.

Now he unites with another major hip-hop name, emcee and producer, Doom, to present The Mouse and The Mask, an album that derives its inspiration from US television's Cartoon Network late-night Adult Swim programming slot.

The result, while not quite as breathtaking as Ghetto Pop Life, still knocks spots off a lot of modern hip-hop albums, courtesy of Dangermouse's uncanny ability to craft bounce-filled beats that draw from a broad palette of musical influences.

Put together with Doom's intricate and skewed flow, the album - under the title Dangerdoom - hustles and bustles with the best of them, putting the hip back into hip-hop in effortlessly stylish fashion.

Highlights include the out and out funk of Benzi Box, featuring Cee-Lo, and a really laidback set of vocals and its follow-up, Old School Rules (feat. Talib Kweli) that references Hong Kong Phooey and contains an underlying melody worthy of the hip cartoon character himself.

There's a retro Seventies vibe surrounding ATHF that wouldn't sound out of place on the Starsky & Hutch soundtrack (the show, not the movie), while Space Hos is another hip-shaker that effectively embraces all that's great about Dangermouse's ability to conjure a blissful melody.

There's a seemingly unnecessary pause before final track, Bada Bing, that lulls you into thinking the album has finished a track early, but the track does finish the album on a high leaving you in a feel-good glow that makes you want to re-listen.

As concept hip-hop goes, it's a blast. As we said, not quite as good as Ghetto Pop Life, or Dangermouse's Gorillaz collaboration, but streets ahead of a lot of the hip-hop norm and well worth tuning in with.

Related reviews: Ghetto Pop Life

Demon Days

Track listing:
1. El Chupa Nibre
2. Sofa King
3. The Mask feat. Ghostface
4. Perfect Hair
5. Benzi Box feat. Cee-Lo
6. Old School Rules feat. Talib Kweli
7. A.T.H.F. (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
8. Basket Case
9. No Names (Black Debbie)
10. Crosshairs
11. Mince Meat
12. Vats Of Urine
13. Space Hos
14. Bada Bing

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