Zucchini Drive: Being Kurtwood
2nd rec

Though Zucchini Drive partners Tom de Geeter (Cavemen Speak) and Marcus Graap (Stacs of Stamina) are joined by a remarkable array of producers and guest musicians on Being Kurtwood (American MC Bleubird, Italian group Giardini di Mirò, Morr Music vets Styrofoam, B.Fleischmann, Populous, and Anticon member Alias), the album never loses its identity as a Zucchini Drive album, largely on account of the duo's ferocious hip-hop attack. While Markus Acher's appearance on “Sombre City,” for example, clearly pushes the tune into Neon Golden territory, de Geeter and Graap's impassioned versifying pulls it right back. What distinguishes the album even more is their talent for sweetening Anticon-styled hip-hop with a lush, Morr-flavoured melodicism. Still, while Zucchini Drive's sound is never compromised, guests do make indelible contributions. During the Pilot Balloon-produced “Earth To Kurtwood,” de Geeter and Graap cleverly layer rapid-fire raps over a beautiful base built with elegiac elements borrowed from Philip Glass's Mishima soundtrack. In addition, Giardini di Mirò's supple guitars enhance the rapid breaks of “Painting Things In Harsh Colours” while chiming guitars and synths lend graceful ambiance to the affecting, Populous-produced closer “Good Music & Indian Food.” Zucchini Drive's accomplished gem is solid from beginning to end.

March 2006