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El-P - Fantastic Damage

posted on Apr 01, 2006
El-P - Fantastic Damage

Fantastic Damage
Definitive Jux, 2002

A decade ago El-P’s juvenile techniques included a postmodernly worship of the most impish and inebriated Afro-Latin horn-loopers that the backstreets of the blighted outer boroughs ever produced, ranging from the mambo meets Mixmaster Mike true school semiotics of the Beatnuts to the lush orchestral soundscapes swollen by smatterings of gorgeously carved soul slices epitomized by Pete Rock. Since these halcyon days of contraband-laden knapsacks and the usual blucka-blucka dun doggerel, the epiphenomenona that is Co-Flow/El-P/Def Jux has transcended the stifling parameters of hip-hop’s predictable tedium, an artificial limitation that is often self-imposed as a psychological defense mechanism against the same pulverizing social constructions that have rendered our once glorious urban centers into repositories of vice, crime, and moral decrepitude. If Funcrusher Plus can be accurately described as the mid-90s sacrificial lamb of scattershot sampledelica viewed from the perspective of an errant tourbus coasting through the antediluvian labyrinth of Gotham’s deteriorating core, and The Cold Vein is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein meets Paul’s Boutique and engages in a 108-round no-holds-barred bareknuckle boxing match with Kool Moe Dee as referee and Kool Keith and Prince Paul as celebrity commentators, then it can be rightfully said that Fantastic Damage is a tour de force of Voltairian proportions, with dissonant moods and substructures pantomiming a plethora of chimeric anti-tropes salvaged from the veritable wreckage of post-industrial modernity and put through the basement torture chamber of Neitzche-esque quasi-fascist uber-conformity, resulting in a panoptical glimpse into the prelapsarian palimpsest we have all come to know and love. Highlights include the draconian use of detuned electric mandolins in conjunction with spaghetti strainers and muted samples of a planetarium presentation narrated by Leonard Nimoy on “Fraggle Fuck Godwin 7.8,” which dares to eschew the Escher-esque pentameter of contemporaries like Masta Ace and Jean Grae in favor of a positively Byzantine boom-bap relieved of any irrational demands for lucidity, rhythm, or linear sense. A bona fide masterpiece. 5/5 stars.

Note: This piece was part of an April Fool’s satire.

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Comments for "El-P - Fantastic Damage"

  1. i agree completely, although next time put away the dictionary

    Nate    Apr 2, 07:26 PM   
  2. lol. you agree with what?

    rafi    Apr 2, 10:10 PM   
  3. Now I remember why I don’t tell people FanDam is one of favorite hiphop albums… I don’t want that nerd label being slapped on me

    Hashim    Apr 2, 10:37 PM   
  4. a halo.

    This review is too advanced for some heads.

    eauhellzgnaw    Apr 3, 04:35 AM   
  5. Wow some of you are really, really fucking stupid.

    R.H.S.    Apr 3, 02:32 PM   
  6. wow… and to think the whole review is only 5 sentences. nice one!

    miguel    Apr 4, 04:48 PM   
  7. That is a great picture of El-P.

    Larry    Apr 5, 09:12 PM   
  8. What the fuck. I’m a philosophy major at Yale, and I couldn’t read more than one sentence of this quasi-intellectual drivel without getting bored. Ace Rock and El-P have stated, time and again, how they don’t like/are amused by cats who overanalyze their jawns. Next time, save the dictionary for your meta-meta-literary essay and just write about hip-hop for what it is: that real shit.

    Grandmaster    Apr 10, 05:44 PM   
  9. It’s a joke fool

    rafi    Apr 10, 06:44 PM   
  10. Tuition well spent.

    eauhellzgnaw    Apr 10, 10:48 PM   
  11. you have to admit he nailed the last two sentences

    Stefan Braidwood    Apr 16, 01:25 PM   
  12. lol

    RHS went el-p on that review

    M:akai    May 19, 05:09 PM   
  13. Shorten you sentences man!

    Anon    Jun 8, 07:25 PM   
  14. And I thought I over-analyzed albums. ;)

    DJ Flash    Jun 22, 07:21 PM   
  15. Great review, great album.

    Harry Seldom    Jun 30, 11:03 AM   
  16. I feel every word of that fecal disposition is incredulousy verbatim, apprapo and destined for the clandestine annexes of post-modern hip-hop. And if not, then allow it to revert to papyrus until it climaxes into a climate of smoldering conflagrations.

    Jay B    Jul 12, 06:33 PM   

    and i understood this piece rather easily. for a logophile like me, this review was highly fucking entertaining

    reason    Jul 16, 02:45 AM   
  18. I still can’t wipe the smile off my face. Hilarious ‘piece’. Great site, Rafi. Now, if I only had a Ghetto Big Mac right now…

    Jesse    Jul 27, 11:02 PM   
  19. This album is on my top ten of all time. This is saying a lot when it’s being grouped in with Queen’s “News of the World”.

    earth    Oct 5, 08:53 PM   
  20. HMMF, I see you children have nothing more to offer than the usual blucka-blucka dun doggerel

    — Herb Stinka    May 6, 03:22 AM