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Bisc1: When Electric Night Falls

By Kimberly Turnerreviews
Mar 26, 2008 - 12:31 AM


 
Trip-hop could be making a comeback if NYC transplant rapper Bisc1 gets his way. No, he is not hosting a Portishead reunion tour. However Bisc1’s newest release, When Electric Night Falls on Embedded Music, sounds like he kidnapped Tricky and Portishead, locked them in a room without windows and forced them to make hip-hop beats.

Listen to "Turbulence," the first single off When Electric Night Falls:

With his “hands to the clouds and feet stuck to the streets," our narrator begins our tour of the five boroughs with “Night Fall” attempting to capture the atmosphere of the city after the sun goes down. Throughout the album, Bisc1 captures something else: human dysfunction. Even in densely populated spaces like New York and San Francisco, people remain disconnected. Bisc 1 touches on this in “Parallels,” describing busy New Yorkers with cell phones glued to their ears caught up in the bustle of their sad, stark, boring lives.

The tone of When Electric Night Falls is moody and melancholy. Bisc1’s droning deadpan delivery at times makes his vocals sound monotonous. Luckily cameos from Esen, MeresTD4, Grimace, and singer Mariella provide much needed variation. The album starts off strong, drops off in the middle and picks back up again at the end, courtesy of bonus track “Heavy Metal”—one of the few tracks where his voice has a driving intensity.

This album would work well as an instrumental. This is not to say that Bisc1 is a wack emcee, he just blends into the background like the homeless in San Francisco’s Civic Center. It’s as if the horns, sirens, shouting, and screeching trains drown him out. Perhaps this is what the self-described “below surface” wordsmith is aiming for: to be the muffled voice on a crowded subway driving unsuspecting passengers to their impending doom.

***

Kimberly Turner is a 23-year-old graduate of San Francisco State University. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts and digging through the used CD bins at Rasputin Music. If she wasn't a journalist she'd be a pastry chef.



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