Beatbox

Kydd Jones, Odd Complex, Arson Optics, and Notes Floats

Phases & Stages

Six tracks from Kydd Jones' The Sounds in My Head Pt. 2 deserve regular rotation at barbecues clear across the Capital City this summer. And if you're smoking, make it eight. The second installment from the local rapper's mixtape series, launched in 2008, ushers in a new era of local rap, one in which guest spots just as often come from national hot spots like Los Angeles (Pac Div, "Now & Then"), New York City (Skyzoo, "It Was All a Dream"), and, well, Alabama (Yelawolf, "Hall Pass") as they do from inside the Lone Star state. ATX reps itself dutifully, with contributions from soul machine Cory Kendrix and beatmaker Haris Qureshi both adding to Kydd's slacker charm ("Jungle"). Less accessible is Odd Complex's January release Complex Atomicus, an amorphous LP that flips dub-hop, blurry industrial breakbeats ("Dope Springs Eternal"), and hard-nosed rapping cut from the Doomtree mold. Clever stuff, but at nearly an hour – and with the sonic orgy of "Track .x53x." taking up almost 11 minutes – Atomicus can be a real bear to get through. Better structured is the latest effort from ATX vet Arson Optics, whose DJ Rapid Ric-mixed Another Day Another Dollar pumps dirty stank and southern dirt through the Mixtape Mechanic's rock solid filter. Assists from the Bavu Blakes ("King of the World") and Melodic Science centerpiece Mirage ("Gold Medal") make Another Dollar a welcome throwback to River City's Mercury years. The dark horse of the lot: lively rapper Notes Floats, whose sophomore album The Transfer arrives both funked-up ("The Transfer") and souled-out ("Continue"). Throw the piano-sampling "The Whole Time" on the same mixtape as those Kydd Jones jams. That's the stuff to keep Austin cooking this summer.

READ MORE
More Alejandro Escovedo
Margaret Moser Tribute: Alejandro Escovedo
Alejandro Escovedo
“Her love for the Velvet Underground and John Cale was the same as I had”

Tim Stegall, June 30, 2017

Why I Left Austin
Why I Left Austin
Alejandro Escovedo’s PTSD diary

Tim Stegall, Oct. 28, 2016

More Kydd Jones
Beat Box
Beat Box
Sanct Ep, Phranye West, The Righteous EP, Free Beer (Record Review)

Chase Hoffberger, Sept. 28, 2012

More Music Reviews
Texas Album Hall of Fame: Project Crew
Texas Album Hall of Fame: Project Crew
Tee Double dusts off the local release that proved Austin hip-hop worthy of his raps

Terrany “Tee Double” Johnson, Oct. 20, 2017

Texas Platters
Balmorhea
Clear Language (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 20, 2017

More by Chase Hoffberger
Former APD Officer Coleman Martin’s Charges Dropped
Former APD Officer Coleman Martin’s Charges Dropped
Cop who faked his own death accepts probation, won’t face misdemeanor charges

Oct. 20, 2017

APD Body Cameras Coming to East Austin Next Week
APD Body Cameras Coming to East Austin Next Week
Departmental rollout of 736 cameras will continue through year's end

Oct. 13, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Alejandro Escovedo, Kydd Jones, Odd Complex, Arson Optics, Notes Floats, Lukas Nelson, Amy Annelle, Nanci Griffith, Daniel Johnston, Tony Visconti, Yelawolf, Doomtree, DJ Rapid Ric, Bavu Blakes, Willie Nelson, Justin Townes Earle, Buddy Holly, Pete Seeger, Blaze Foley, Bob Dylan

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)