July 20, 2006

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Dr. Octagon, The Return
International, 2006

How could anyone not love the concept of a sexually, psychotic doctor from the the year 3000? After 10 years, Kool Kieth finally revisits his most notorious persona, Dr. Octagon.

In 1996, Kool Kieth & Dan The Automator put the hip-hop concept record on the map with Dr. Octagonecologyst, which would later be followed up with the greatest concept record of all time, Deltron 3030 by Del The Funky Homosapien and Automator. Unfortunately, The Return doesnít follow the Year 3000 concept. The wacky, eclectic Dr. Octagon is still there, but only in short bursts and theyíre usually in skits. Itís better to think of The Return more as a Kool Kieth record and with that thought in mind itís instantly an intriguing record.

One Watt Sunís bassey, sci-fi break beats and dancey keyboards pale in comparison to Dan The Automatorís previous genius prouction, but it submerges Kool Kiethís voice in a new environment, one with quick flows and precise hooks, a side of Kieth we havenít seen before. Two or three tracks miss the mark but not by much. The track ďAntsĒ is by far the most thought-provoking as Kool Kieth metaphorically observes humanity through the lives of ants like a god in the sky, almost as if his madness sets him apart from society.

Regardless of the lack of futuristic concepts, Kool Kiethís borderline psychosis has once again proven to be a welcome presence in my headphones. B

ó Dan Brian


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