Fox Trot Mannerisms


aec.tcto8.2 6/8/10 New
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    12-inch Single
    Fox Trot Mannerisms Tectonic

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Review Text This may be the strangest and most intriguing hip-hop album you hear all year. Pursuit Grooves is Brooklyn-based producer and MC Vanessa Smith, whose debut effort is a six-track EP (seven on CD) that does more than just stretch the boundaries of electronic hip-hop; it folds, spindles, and mutilates them until you're not sure at any given moment whether you're hearing hip-hop, jazzy dubstep, or some kind of avant-garde techno. The disc opens with the strangely abstract "Pressure," which features a vaguely jazzy non-groove and vocals that veer serenely from singing to rapping; the song seems to have some kind of regular rhythmic structure, but it's hinted at rather than stated explicitly. "Start Something" is buzzy electro, slightly less willfully disorganized than "Pressure" but still plenty weird. "Mr Softee" seems to be Pursuit Grooves' idea of a bedroom ballad; what emerges sounds like a collaboration between Muslimgauze and Anita Baker. On "Shabaps," this approach breaks down into minor disaster -- the lyrics sound improvised, and the sung melody doesn't fit with the instrumental accompaniment. But then things snap quickly back into focus with the shimmeringly romantic "Whisper" and the relentlessly repetitive and ominous "Tweezers." The CD-only bonus track is pretty clearly an outtake, but an impressive one: soothing chord washes and dubwise snare drums frame an off-kilter 11/8 beat that would be more or less impossible to dance to unless one of your legs is slightly shorter than the other. This artist could go in any number of directions from here, and chances are good that whichever one she takes, it will make for very interesting listening. ~ Rick Anderson

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Pressure - 3:20
  2. 2. Start Somethin' - 3:23
  3. 3. Mr Softee - 3:15
  4. 4. Shabaps - 5:54
  5. 5. Whisper - 4:05
  6. 6. Tweezers - 4:49
  7. 7. Cozy [CD Exclusive] - 3:53

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