Critic's Choice

Anti-Pop Consortium

The Brooklyn-based rap quartet Anti-Pop Consortium, Tuesday, April 16, at the Bluebird Theater, cites influences as diverse as goth rockers Bauhaus, Joy Division and the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. This eclecticism and willingness to transcend musical boundaries have endeared the group to Thom Yorke, who asked the Consortium to open up for Radiohead during a recent European tour. A more exact reference for Anti-Pop's music might be found in the electro-funk futurisms of Afrika Bambaata, especially when he began to meld hip-hop breakbeats onto backdrops that acknowledged the experimentations of groups like Kraftwerk. Produced by E. Blaize, the group's beats sound like the aural equivalent of the chaotic imploding machines and robots manipulated by San Francisco's Survival Research Laboratories -- an arts collective that lyricist and beatsmith M. Sayyid spent time in. Anti-Pop Consortium was born in the downtown NYC poetry scene: In 1997, the group solidified during the "Rap Meets Poetry" series held at the Nuyorican Theater. Now, the outfit is getting ready to release its second album, Arrythmia, which features more tight rhymes from MCs Beans, Priest and M. Sayyid. This time around, E. Blaize adds some freakazoid dance touches to his usual array of otherworldly sounds. Pop goes the world.

 
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