Dr Octagon - Dr. Octagonecologyst

15/05/2020

What I am about to say to some will be blasphemy. I appreciate by many Kool Keith fans, the vast majority, this is seen as his greatest piece of work, even to this day. Personally, Sex Style, First Come First Served, Black Elvis are all superior projects in my opinion. However, I concede, my view is in the minority within the great Kool Keith catalogue debate.

I remember being presented with this album by some friends in a crew I rolled with, not long after it launched, many many years ago. They fawned over it. I just thought personally, he went a little too abstract. The humour and personality was replaced with this moody dark overly abstract pervert from space. Which when described like that, it does sound cool I admit. Over the years I've appreciated it for what it was, an outstanding project production wise, with Keith at arguably his most abstract, and best.

Things for me don't really get going on this album until "Real Raw" which to be fair, is absolutely tremendous. The insane scratching by Q-Bert and delicious crunchy drums by Dan The Automator are incredible. Keith sticks to the beat like glue.

The haunting violins on "Blue Flowers" are at this point legendary within Hip-Hop. Keith's bugged out rhymes enhance the whole worrying sound. "Holding bags on down right from the hospital / It's a patient that's worth to keep the germs off the turf /Cybernetic microscopes and metal antidotes / Two telescopes that magnify size of a roach" there has never been, and there never will be another record quite like Blue Flowers.

"Girl Let Me Touch You There" with Keith's I'm sure unintentionally funny hook is one of the highlights of the album. The production is mystical and entrancing. The high pitch note hit by the sampled vocal, all thrown into the mix make this one of the album's best songs for me personally.

"Halfsharkalligatorhalfman" is weird, wonderful and when the beat is on point, Keith is sticking to the rhythm, and, when his mind is just completely opened to spill just unordered relentless strange images and scenario's? he's at his best. More so because he sounds like he's truly enjoying himself on this one - which transfers to the listener too. Just excellence, and possibly my favourite track on here. Cosmic whirling sound effects torn right out of a retro space flick.

There's no question, even listening back to this album for what has to be over the 100th time - it still could be released today and sound fresh. When you realise this was released in 1996 it's all the more breathtaking.

For many this is one of the few, if not the only Keith project they have checked out and for them, rightly so, this will always remain his best work.


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