Crouched Head: s/t
Drip Audio

On his Crouched Head debut, Joshua Zubot stirs a polyglot electroacoustic stew of curdling downtempo beats, voice samples, and eclectic sounds (he plays mandolin, accordion, violin, Korg synth, and 'crappy turntables,' among other things while brother Jesse and dad Orville add beats and sax respectively) into fourteen dense and offbeat settings. Imagine the voodoo exotica of a slightly less disciplined David Toop conjoined to lo-rider beats and you'll have a fairly accurate take on Crouched Head's explorative sound (disturbed atmospheres in the hallucinatory “Influence Farm” in particular suggest Toop). While Joshua receives valuable production support from his sibling, Orville deserves MVP honours this time around for his tasty sax blowing. Following an overture of scowling space-drone grime (“CH New Year”), the slippery soul-jazz groove of “Chicago Fire” sets the album's mood with minimal piano accents sidestepping scurrying drum & bass beats. Orville's honking sax brazenly skitters over hiccupping grime in “Horn Notes 35” and injects “Harps of Montreal” with jazzy flavour. It doesn't all work—“Lilac Day,” for example, threatens to drown during moments of excess density—but the mercurial character of Crouched Head's music generally holds one's attention throughout the album's forty-six minutes.

October 2005