Kool Keith - The Return Of Dr Octagon
This was an unusual release at the time. Keith submitting various recordings to a production duo called One-Watt sun, after an original planned producer for the project Fanatik J was given the boot. It's well known Keith had little involvement in the final product.
However at KoolKeith.Net we are, of course, just about the music. Did this album actually deliver as an overall music release? And how does it hold up today?
When you first hear "Trees" you're aware something very different is going on here. This is essentially a dance record. It's unsettling as a Kool Keith die hard, to hear what's going on here. Especially after listening to a truckload of Kool Keith releases up to this point, all of which have been Hip-Hop albums and mixtapes. This right here is not really "Kool Keith" music. Even if the album itself is fine.
"Ants" is a genuinely dope dance track featuring Kool Keith. A kaleidoscope of different sounds and effects make this one an enjoyable romp, with nice clean production. It's busy with intricate sounds, some nice scratching, buzzing bass and a lot going on. It's a good song.
"Al Green" is pleasant enough music, nice guitars and a smooth stylish feel going on here with the music. "Gorilla driving a pick up truck" again, has some big booming drums and colourful production, also some more sweet nasty scratching.
For the most part all the tracks up to this point I haven't mentioned I would class as good music. Just not really Kool Keith music. Despite having excerpts of Kool Keith verses on it. I understand Keith doesn't have one style vocally, he has different aliases etc. However, he is still a rapper, and makes music over Hip-Hop beats, as eclectic as some would like to make him out to be. Keith is Hip-Hop guys.
"Doctor Octagon" again is actually a good track, the music is fun, creative and big. "It's The Morning" with the Keith crooning hook, the light pianos and airy ethereal sounds, is another good attempt from One-Watt Sun to concoct something with the verses (some recorded several years previous) from Keith. Probably my favourite song on the album.
Sadly one of the biggest issues with this project is the title of the record. It's not really a Dr Octagon sequel at all, it's random verses and masters chopped up and mixed with dance beats and electro style production.
There's no weird porn movie samples, brain meltingly clever verses or thick dusty drums and eerie violins on this "Dr Octagon" album. It's a dance record with some Kool Keith verses on it. It's not bad at all, just be prepared for what's going to burst from your speakers when you begin.
If this was titled something else, feat Kool Keith, it would probably have been much better received by his fans.
Listen to this project as just that, something else, not a Dr Octagon sequel and it will digest easier, as it did at the time for me. Even with the difficult to listen to Princess Superstar on one of the tracks.
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