Kutmah TROBBB! Big Dada
There was a time when you couldn’t move for the kind of tripped-out, chopped-up, lolloping beats that Kutmah pioneered along with LA beat scene peers such as Flying Lotus, the GasLamp Killer, and Nosaj Thing. But ten years is a long time in the fast-shifting sands of sub-genres, and Kutmah’s debut album has the slightly surreal feel of a period piece about it.
There’s a good reason for the delay: the UK-born producer was deported from the US in 2010, spending two grim months in a New Mexico detention centre before finally arriving back in Britain.
TROBBB! feels more like a retrospective than a statement of intent, but that’s not to say the material isn’t strong: there’s a glut of scrunched rhythms, scorched melodies, sardonic vocal cuts and a general air of mischief and menace hanging over the whole album. Things really get moving with Brown Porsche 908: an archetypal blunted beat, circa 2007, provides the bed for a wave of hazy paranoia – classic Low End Theory sounds. The guest spots add narrative to what might otherwise have been a slightly meandering 31 tracks, but strangely they’re all sequenced towards the end. But the Gonjasufi-featuring closing track, Bury Me By The River, is worth the wait. Striking a more redemptive tone than the album’s early material, it is a swampy finale to complete an album bristling with enough ideas and attitude to compensate for its long gestation.