Nonnon: The Entitlement Generation
Automation Records

Dropped into the middle of the crisp hip-hop funk of The Entitlement Generation's “Whimp and a Wham (Steinski Done It Again)” is someone who, apropos of a club visit, says, “There's nothing in this music that I don't want to hear. There's words that are kind of syncopated and rhythmic, and there's this hot drum track. It's great! This is music that I've been waiting all my life to hear.” Well, we wouldn't go so far as to say that the description applies word-for-word to Nonnon's own music, but there's no denying his heady material makes a forceful impression. On his hour-long Nonnon effort (available in cassette and digital formats), Dave Madden (aka DJ Webern, Chomsky at the Bit, and Wasabe P) reveals a propensity for wacked-out head-nodders and glitched-out funk, not to mention a jones for cheeky track titles like “Coil is Playing at My House (My House)” and “They Get It From an Elf's Head.” 

The Entitlement Generation comes out of the experimental hip-hop school associated with Prefuse 73 and the like, as the open-minded Madden demonstrates a kindred tendency to load his tracks to the gills with all manner of mutant electronic sounds, field recordings, found sounds, and samples. Holding the madness together are bruising, neck-snapping beats in banging cuts like “Gangbangin' On Earth Day (Patchouli Mix)” and “Steak Drugs.” There's whirr and click aplenty in Nonnon's writhing and lurching pieces, and Madden's just as likely to drop a Renaissance harpsichord sample into the middle of a track (as he does on the shredded howler “My Last Performance”) as shift the focus away from the beat dimension for an explorative exercise in electronic textures and layering (“System 102 Model 100”). Even a cursory listen would recognize that there's method to Madden's madness, and it bears mentioning that he brings to his process a background in university-based computer-assisted composing and passion for artists as diverse as Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, and John Cage.

October 2009