Ninjatune rarely get it wrong and they’ve made no mistake with Exquisite Corpse. Daedelus has composed each song with such complexitiy, you are forced to put the album on loop. You learn something new with each play.
The album opens with dreamlike vocals encouraging you to sit back, relax and enjoy the musical voyage upon which you are about to set
sail. But once you’ve reached open sea, dark clouds gather and the music becomes more sinister. This unnerving feeling is created by the juxtapositioning of sounds that are not usual bed mates. Laura Darling sings a lullaby in Now and Sleep over an industrial drum beat more conducive to nightmares than sweet dreams.
As your journey nears its end, you are brought back down to earth on Welcome Home. But even though Mike Ladd has a warm, comforting and poetic style, his lyrics do not conjure an image of a place he’s happy to have found.
The running theme in Exquisite Corpse is a strange combination of sounds and lyrics that, while occassionally light-hearted, suggest death and decay. The clue is in the title. Daedelus is implying that the Hip-Hop we know and love is dead.
Premature or not and without wanting to dwell on Daedelus’ philosophy, this is an essential album.