Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Gold Teeth Thief [Soot, 2001] **
  • Minesweeper Suite [Tigerbeat6, 2002] B+
  • Uproot [The Agriculture, 2008] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Gold Teeth Thief [Soot, 2001]
weirdo hards from North Africa to St. Louis Mo ("Missy Elliot 'Get Ur Freak On'/Nas 'Oochie Wallie Instrumental'/Ricky Dog aka Bling Dog 'Risen to the Top,'" "Project Pat 'Chickenhead'/Nettle 'Duppy'"); **

Minesweeper Suite [Tigerbeat6, 2002]
Rupture's mixes don't groove or chill or teach. They rupture; they scare up anxiety attacks. This one suggests with a few scene-setting North African flourishes the sound of war in the Middle East, only it won't stay there long: toasters out to rob and steal, rappers out for themselves, electronics that could detonate the suspect device in the ladies' room, walls caving after the blast, muttering and moaning, soul divas proffering succor, prayers, a baby's cry, beats like shock waves and machine-gun fire, the single word "Bush," something about socialism once. It's too abstract sometimes. But it's not too alarmist. B+

Uproot [The Agriculture, 2008]
At first I thought, Why so glum, chum? Listenable and well-mixed, the guy's rep precedes him. But emotionally I heard little more than the downcast post-high of the chillout room. Only then the record flipped on me. There's plenty in the world to be bummed about, and if the cultural fate of the Middle East isn't as high on that long list as it was a year ago, Rupture is here to remind us that it's still around to bite us in the collective ass. No fan of his art-dance scene, I don't recognize a single source record of the 24 he flows in here. But in this sequence they speak to me of resilience, intelligence, openness and loss. Most aren't explicitly Islamic, but Middle Eastern sounds and rhythms contextualize the toasting, the dub, the electronica effects. Elegiac rather than dancey, but elegiac about the preconditions of the dance, it states, sustains, and varies a bracing mood. It even has an ending. A-