REVIEW: DJ QBert’s “Extraterrestrial”

 photo DJQBertEx_cover_zpsac6323f2.jpg If you purchased DJ Q-Bert’s new album GalaXXXian recently, then you may have known that he released two albums on the same day. If GalaXXXian was the one you purchase, then you definitely have to pick up Extraterrestrial (Thud Rumble). Compared to GalaXXXian, Extraterrestrial is more on the experimental side, or at least it’s a lot looser, freakier, and free. If you’ve already built yourself up with the way QBert communicates with his turntables and sampling machines, then you’ll enjoy the new dialogue, careful use of sound dialects, and new languages he has discovered for everyone. It’s extra not because it’s out of this world, but because it’s the continuation of what he has continued to do for 20+ years, to where he is partly involved in a lost, if not almost forgotten, way of speak, so consider this a preservation of the art of communication. Yes, it’s damn good hip-hop, it’s fantastic turntalbism, but there’s also things that are cultural too, and I don’t mean hip-hop culture, that’s by default. Again, the communication that is going on is there, and while it may not say a thing to you (it may very well be just gibberish), it’s the gathering of the vinyl tribes that show a way for people to unite in a way that is slowly becoming impossible. Well, maybe not to that degree, but maybe what’s more other-worldly in modern times is us, mortal earthlings, surviving on this planet until we eventually find our way out. Maybe QBert is offering guidance as a way to keep everyone safe and sound, with sound, until the inevitable happens. Whether you take this as a completely different album or one half of an equation, you have to hear them both ways in order to enjoy and benefit from it. May the 33 1/3 rotations continue.

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