It’s been two years since L.A. beatmaker Dibia$e put out a new album. And, while many of the artists seeking the Dibia$e sound over the past decade have been in the hip-hop realm, Dibia$e is clearly expanding his horizons with his new instrumental LP Looney Goons.
It’s unlikely that a person with bad nerves will be able to listen to this album for very long. Looney Goons is an instrumental album bursting with weird sound effects and pounding beats that blend hip-hop, dubstep and electronica and it doesn’t let up. You do get short interludes in between tracks but then it’s back to the crashing sounds of electronic rhythms, old school video game effects and random MC vocal samples. Take for example “Duck Down” a track that sounds like Atari on acid or “Catchin Fades” which knocks hard but when mixed with various synthesizer effects ends up sounding like an aimless arrangement of noise. Although beats like “OMG !!!” and “DonkeyKicks” at least stick to a more linear rhythm, it doesn’t usually last for very long as it quickly melts towards the end of the track.
Looney Goons isn’t a completely wacky record, despite the less-than-smooth track transitions, random hip-hop samples and strange sound effects. It’s more just cleverly fun in the way of experimental music. The quirky yet semi-funky “Some Act Right,” for instance, is followed by a 28-second interlude “Sickness” a move that ties the LP together in a thematic style that is rarely captured in most instrumental albums. And album gems “Bumps” and “FunkedUp” give much needed balance to this record with smooth, mellow grooves and more formulaic beat patterns.
Ultimately, the stuttering sound effects and disordered rhythms severely impacts this LPs replay-ability. The beats tend to be so congested with bizarre effects and animated samples that listeners will have a hard time imagining any artist jumping on most of these tracks. Although this isn’t the quintessential instrumental LP at least Dibia$e is pushing boundaries.
- Andrea D. Wilson