P.U.D.G.E. P.U.D.G.E.Idiot Box
RAMP RECORDINGSWith an armchair in Los Angeles and a take-off platform in London –a large selling point of the Rmp label– P.U.D.G.E. reach planet Earth with their hands in the damned cookie jar, ready to increase the catalogue with radioactive cup cakes from the west coast and, while they’re at it, add a few folds to the pastry we have been eating from profusely since quite some time, with that lysergic sucrose funk baked in the Californian sun. After the cult 10” shared with Dibiase for the All City imprint, this producer of Jamaican origin and raised in L.A. transforms into a pile with the shape of a saucer and smelling of silicone. His thing is the margins of post-Dilla spirituality and free experimentation. And believe me, it’s good what he does.
Those who don’t get that psychedelic side of Los Angeles and prefer their instrumental hip-hop more orthodox and restricted might not be into the dreamy concept of P.U.D.G.E. Far from the street manual, with absolute freedom of movement, our man surfs a wild sea of hertzian waves, interferences, psychophonies and escapist funk. The album title isn’t gratuitous at all. The story line of this extravagant novel written in pure cut-up style is the TV as a stupefying element. That’s why we find a complex maze of samples taken from American trash television in almost every song, especially from the kind of talk shows that end up in fights between promiscuous lovers. We could say that “Idiot Box” is a conceptual album, which is why it should be consumed in its entirety, without interruption or snacks.
So, taken as a history with a start, plot and outcome, the LP obtains a kaleidoscopic appearance from which it’s hard to escape. The pounding television voices, the strange groove of the musical cloaks, the delicious sonic anarchy that seems to reign all the tracks, the ascents, the descents... If anything is clear it’s that once you’re in this intoxicating spiral it’s almost impossible to get out; without noticing you find yourself lying on the sofa, with your eyes locked on the ceiling, disconnected completely from the world around you. The kitchen could be on fire, Megan Fox could have her hands in your underwear, the police could breaking through the door and you wouldn’t take notice. The modus operandi, musically speaking, evokes the MPC craftwork of J Dilla, resorts to the elegant depth of Flying Lotus and lines up with the cosmic psychedelica of Lone and the like. The result is a roaring psychotropic funk soup for alien audiences with flashes of future jazz –the crepuscular sax “Lost AngeLA” is marvellous, 9th Wonder-like soul on heroin, brilliant superposition of choruses on “Everything 2 Me”, digital Afro beat on “The Price Is Wrong”, and hip-hop opiates for cannabis lovers on “Insensitivity”. The fabric of the album is filmy and intoxicates at the slightest contact with the skin; like a nettle, but with the effects of Ayahuasca. And “Idiot Box” is even more hypnotic when listened to under the influence of wine and hashish. It’s a records you have to inject with patience, without hurry. It’s a record that demands the use of a good set of headphones, not the shitty white things Apple sells at abusive prices. It’s a record that reads from beginning to end as if it were an imaginary book written by William S. Burroughs and Raphael de la Ghetto. I take back my words: “Idiot Box” isn’t a record; “Idiot Box” is a trip to the bottom of your mind. Óscar Broc