Sun OK Papi K.O.
om Waits once argued that “God protects drunks and fools and little children.” Laurent Baudoux embodies Waits’s theological point: his Nintendo Gameboy techno as Sun OK Papi K.O. has a level of childishness that ought to be outlawed for people his age. He elicits a nose-picking juvenilia that can sound plain dumb. Such goofiness inhabits the Mouse on Mars-run Sonig label’s recent output, whether it be the intoxicated in the circus tent stumbling of Candie Hank’s Groucho Running or the mutated strains of R&B, hip-hop, and wedding reception entertainment of Vert’s Some Beans & An Octopus.
So it comes as little surprise when the first thing you hear coming out of your speakers on Orchestre Philharmonok is Japanese Grime. Anything goes in Sonig World and MC Illreme’s taunting lyrical attack shotgun-sprays syllables against the beat without missing a breath is just that. The Japanese rapper even sometimes approaches the vitality of UK grime star Dizzee Rascal—hell, “Rascalica” is an homage that loosely rips its rhythm from Dizzee’s “Give U More.” Baudoux reportedly never met or spoke with the MC, but that is no loss here. Illreme’s vocal rhythms breakdance to Baudoux’s percussion of gurgles and thumb piano twangs in “Bakalo Style,” while the MC struts amid Super Mario bleeps and twerps in “Andi Booty.”
While MC Illreme steals most of the attention, the rest of Orchestre indulges in cute, popsicle-juice smeared cacophony. “Spiderman Alphabet” and “Spl Fov” rattle and flicker to feedback-laced breakbeats and popcorn-ricochet rhythms. “Super Puni” clomps along to an ace, bass-drenched grime beat, while “Waisvisz Beat” resembles a disco call that a Peanuts “adult” voice wonks out loud. “Star Daughter” chugs along on a fine, Stereolab-engined motorik rhythm, and “Kokoyesyes N'2” jigs on a bridge to a frenetically plucked banjo and happy-hardcore—imagine a pacifier–grinding, Vapor-Rub-smeared Animal Collective and you’re close.
Baudoux may one night stumble into an L.A. bar that’s filled with Norteño and Sureño gang members staring each other down. And he may demand a Shirley Temple, no matter the stares and crooked eyebrows. He is a drunk, a fool, and a little child at heart, and he shall have all of God’s blessings and protection for it.
Reviewed by: Cameron Macdonald
Reviewed on: 2006-09-05