September 6, 2007

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Panacea, The Scenic Route
Rawkus Records, Sept. 4
Panacea beatmeister K-Murdock gravitates to plots of space-shot terrain that leave you confounded, not so much about all the chill-out going on but where this quasi-hip-hop falls in a categorical sense. Up front at the intro, you’re held by the hand and told that K and his emcee, the slithery/sensual/ratty/hard-ass Raw Poetic are caught between reality and the dream world and digging it, so when their Steve Miller bong-time rocket takes off you’re somewhat prepped. But stay aboard and the sci-fi keeps rolling, past galaxies and stars, all after a blinged-up Cosby Kids fashion, with funkadelica, trip-hop and multi-layered state-of-the-art rap cutting in here and there. Given all that — and extended stays of Third Eye Foundation experimentalism when K can’t keep his hands off the shiny knobs of his sequencers — it’s a fusion of old and new school hip-hop and ’70s klutziness kept sane by Tricky, the lines blurring even further when some drum ’n bass pops up (“Between Earth and Sky”). BEric W. Saeger.