Deceptikon: Greater Cascadia
Deceptikon Industries

Greater Cascadia, the latest dispatch from Zachary Wright under the Deceptikon moniker, is actually an updated version of an identically-titled 12-inch released earlier on Merck Records with seven tracks newly added to the original's eight. Though Wright recently relocated to Tokyo via Seattle, the album itself was recorded in home studios throughout the Cascadian region ( Seattle, Olympia, and Vancouver), hence the title. Almost five years in the making, Wright's solid Lost Subject follow-up finds Deceptikon redefining himself as an electronic artist dedicated to instrumental hip-hop than anything IDM-related.

The album's fifteen snappy struts are stitched together from crisp beats, synth basslines, samples, field elements, and chiming keyboards but act fast ‘cos they're available in a pitiably minuscule run of 200 copies. On the rhythm front, funky breaks, lurching clip-hop beats, and sputtering glitch-hop abound, while sparkling keyboards and accordion provide the elegant and sometimes wistful melodies. It's great material, teeming with fresh ideas and both sonically svelte in design and lush in character. Wright keeps the material uncluttered while also warming his head-nodding beats with melodic sparkle (the marriage of hiccupping beat flow and gossamer string shimmer in “Almond Groves,” for example). CCO hip-hop outfit CYNE blows verbal fire over the bleepy head-nod of “Montana,” and even fragments are worth recommending, like “Backward Forward Reverse,” which Wright chops into sweetly stuttering hip-hop funk, and “Evergreen,” whose piano- and clavinet-based hip-hop indicates Wright's fully qualified to be a next-level hip-hop producer. Get this man some more MCs!

November 2007