Astronautalis – This Is Our Science
(Fake Four Inc, 2011)
If you break Astronautalis down to basic elements you end up with a white hip-hop artist from Florida. An artist with the given name of Charles Andrew Bothwell. You will find Sage Francis in those elements. You will find Atmosphere, Felt and Grieves in there as well. You will also find more experimental, almost anticon., elements there. There are small traces of Doseone and Yoni Wolf in there. But to sit here and make a list of white people who make hip-hop influenced music would be a complete cop-out, I just wanted to set a baseline for what This Is Our Science sounds like.
What sets Astronautalis apart, besides his uniquely ‘country’ voice, lay in his transitions. There are hip-hop tracks here, but they serve as bookends to piano driven folk songs with a beat. With different production, some of these songs could be found on CMT. With different production, some of these tracks could be punk rock anthems. Bothwell literally quotes Joni Mitchell and Kevin Seconds on this album. But don’t let this scare you away. It’s not as fractured as it sounds. Astronautalis is the master of transition and This Is Science provides the perfect formula for a unique collection of tracks that have no right to possess this much chemistry.
I was supposed to catch their show in Vegas while I was out there over the weekend, but it was cancelled. I was going to meet them out that night, but other shit got in the way. I also meant to get this recommendation out before the their gig at Marquis last night. I also meant to make that show. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you planned, but for those of you that did catch the live show, count yourself among the lucky.
Astronautalis – Dimitri Mendeleev