Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Radio Free Yidishkeit: Y-Love's 'This is Babylon'

This Is Babylon album cover...static pink noise detuned and oscillating WE GON' RISE...(bump bump) KEEP THE PARTY DIVINE (bump bump).... sirens rise against a slow base beat .... TWIST YOUR NECK MAKE YOUR HEAD MOVE SIDE TO SIDE .. machinery clanking . ARE YOU CONNECTED REJECT MISDIRECTED BELIEVE AND RECEIVE DIVINE DIALECTIC ... radio static static grind ... THIS CULTURE'S BABYLON SIN FEST ... quiver and semi-quaver, a power grid played like a theremin... WE GON' RISE ...MAKE THE PARTY DIVINE .........

I don't love this album, but I'm afraid of it. It owns my stereo and my attention like a radio broadcast from a warzone. I have to work to make out the lyrics over the hiss and crackle and when I can tune them in, the broadcaster is telling me that it's time to grab my family and run. But I'm too entranced by the rhythm and wordplay, the grinding soundscape. I have this feeling that I'm going to have to transcribe each song and learn them before I'll be able to shake it.

This is album is clearly hip-hop, but to me the unrelenting grind of it hits me like a good punk song does, right in the gut with no apologies. It lacks some of the humor, bounce, and gleeful language juggling of the earlier DJ Handler productions (like My Garden) and that lack turned me off at first. But 'This is Babylon' has it's own logic that is deeper and more compelling. While the slightly less dark "New Disease" will probably be the first single, songs like "Make the Party Divine" and "Mind Transit" goes right for the jugular. People have been asking me for a while who is going to pick up the torch from Matisyahu and bring to the masses a world class Jewish popular music. This is it folks.

The folks from Modular Moods have graciously provided this Y-Love samples radio. Enjoy

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If you want to know more about Y-Love, you can listen to an interview on Public Radio International's The World.

You can find out more about Y-Love through his MySpace page or Modular Moods.

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