Lazerbeak - Lava Bangers
Record Label: Doomtree
Release Date: January 24, 2011
I think itís safe to say I now believe in God. His name is Lazerbeak.
The first time I listened to Lava Bangers was an eye (ear?) opening experience. Far from the odd assortment of random, unreleased beats itís made out to be, this album is a living entity. Lazerbeak spoke it into existence, and his breath brought it to life. Iím actually afraid that if I stopped listening to the album for even a second, it would ominously start again, but with a short disclaimer near the beginning warning me of the grave consequences that would follow if I repeated my folly.
But in all seriousness, Lava Bangers is an immense project that spans well beyond its forty minute run time. The twenty tracks contained within bleed into each other thanks to the capable scratching and blending abilities of DJ Plain Ole Bill, who combines these scattered beats into one flowing masterpiece like some sort of sick Dr. Frankenstein. The transitions are incredibly easy to miss, and itís probably best if you let it ride during each listen. This is an album meant to be heard in one sitting. Dissecting each track on its own merit is an exercise in futility, as each composition is a mind-blowing amalgamation of layers thatís impossible to match and even harder to hate.
And as you begin to examine tracks piece by piece, the peaceful tranquility of their coexistence is threatened. No longer satisfied on working together for the greater good, they begin to push and shove, jockeying for position and attention. They assault your senses like school children hoping to prove their mettle in some academic arena, arms flailing in a vain attempt to make you look their way. The moment you realize this is happening is insanity, plain and simple, a psychosis that is pure, endearing, and unforgettable.
So, Iím okay not providing an exhaustive, track-by-track synopsis. Lava Bangers is not an album that needs to be put through the normal scruples of analysis, but an adventure that needs to be experienced and felt on a personal level. Itís nasty when it needs to be, and loving when the atmosphere calls for something completely different. Every trip feels as unique and refreshing as the first, and at times it seems as if the compositions oh so gently moving through both of your ears are occupying the space in-between them as well, anticipating your feelings like some kind of mind reader and progressing accordingly.
Thatís why Lava Bangers, above everything else, scares me to death. I cannot for the life of me foresee a future where I donít want to listen to it, where thereís some other musical odyssey I would rather spend time with. Iím scared that some of my other favorite producers will jump on the album, realize Lazerbeak has raised the bar to near astronomical levels, lose hope, and quit to write commercial jingles. Sure, the advertisement industry will improve dramatically, but I donít know if I want to live in a world where Clams Casino is trying to sell me aluminum foil and trash bags instead of providing hours of musical enjoyment. But most of all, Iím scared that some people just wonít Get It and Iíll have to try my hardest to help them See the Light. Yes, I have been unknowingly recruited as a Lava Bangers missionary.
If I havenít gushed enough already, just listen to Lava Bangers. Do it. I donít care about your preconceived aggression towards the Doomtree crew, I donít care if you prefer your albums have vocals and lyrics, and I certainly donít care if hip-hop isnít your thing. Lava Bangers is a breath of fresh air in a stifled prison cell. Lava Bangers is a musical gem thatís as close to perfection as an album can get. Lava Bangers is the brief moment of elation you feel when waking up from a nightmare and realizing everything is going to be okay. And for all you newcomers to the Lazerbeak game, I leave you with this: if Lava Bangers is the stuff that the man hasnít used in any of his projects, just imagine the potential lethality within the beats he has used. Pass on this and regret it, or listen and be consumed.