DJ QBert: Extraterrestria / GalaXXXian
(Thud Rumble, 7/1/14)
(from GalaXXXian, f. Mr. Lif, El-P & Malicious Lee)
An old-school turntablism purist from the Invisibl Skratch Piklz crew, DJ QBert firmly established his own name with the 1998 release of solo debut Wave Twisters (which also later became an animated film). With the aid of a successful Kickstarter campaign, his long-awaited solo followup comes in the form of a conceptual double album, Extraterrestria and GalaXXXian, exploring territory both in and out of this world.
Extraterrestria coasts through a number of hip-hop and trip-hop instrumentals while incorporating sound effects from a spaceship’s motherboard. With deep bass grooves, exotic samples, and (of course) QBert’s wicked scratching, it’s a journey to hip hop’s future via its past. On top of that, a humanistic touch is added back to the alien sounds via special guest spots, including the cello and trombone of Dana Leong and the seductive production of Neptunes and NERD member Chad Hugo and electronic lounge duo Tipsy.
The DJ’s roster of collaborators plays a more crucial on GalaXXXian, a hip-hop experiment stripped from the Earth’s core. Notable MCs Mr. Lif, Del the Funky Homosapien, Bambu, and Kool Keith drop verses that range from human fantasies to exploring asteroids, all over a brand of retro-futurist hip hop (with guest production from El-P, A-Trak, and others) that never comes off as contrived. The results of this star-stacked adventure prove that scratching has been lost in hip hop today, and QBert’s 25-year tenure makes its inclusion irresistible.