Sun OK Papi K.O. "Orchestre Philharmonok"
Without Belgium?s Baudoux brothers, the world would be a much sadder place. Together, they recorded two fantastically wacky albums as Scratch Pet Land, as well as conducting a horde of pranksters messing with Gameboys in the Fan Club Orchestra. And while Nicolas Baudoux is now recording ? well, um, weird ? music as DJ Elephant Power, Laurent Baudoux took on the Sun OK Papi K.O. moniker to release a full-on assault at all people taking themselves too seriously.
Compared to the Fan Club Orchestra and Scratch Pet Land, the stylistic variety on ?Orchestre Philharmonok? has expanded a lot while still keeping a common ground. The album starts out with ?Intro Otcho?, a tune fairly typical for Baudoux. Short demented vocal snippets interchange with bleepy electronics. What follows is quite a big surprise. I would have expected everything from Laurent Baudoux, but not that he would produce Grime tracks with a Japanese MC. And it?s so necessary that someone finally produces Grime tracks that deviate from the usual East London routine. Baudoux?s idea of Grime is not so far away from that of Wiley, etc., except that his instrumentals rather sound like the Gremlins gnawing at plastic keyboards. They?re a weird mixture of cute and evil that actually works. This is also due to MC Illreme, allegedly the inventor of comedy rap and a big star in Japan. His rapping is not actually bad, but it sounds as goofy as is needed for the instrumentals that range from classic bass-heavy Grime to Dancehall.
Also on other tracks, Baudoux got influenced by British dance music. The best track on the album, entitled ?Koyesyes No. 2? starts out melodious with Koto and Pipa guitar loops dancing a merry-go-round, until Baudoux introduces some Jungle and Gabba beats to the mix in the second half and lets the sounds break loose as if they had been queuing in front of the mall on Thanksgiving Weekend. Quentin Hanon adds some electric guitar and the block party for not quite grown-up adults is in full effect. Another highlight of the CD is ?Star Daughter? which sounds like Neu! played by Pokemon and friends, a tradition started on the first track of ?Sun Papa and the Fan Club Orchestra Vol. 1? and carried on here to great success.
In between these cornerstones, there?s light and shadow. At points it seems like Baudoux just wants to mess around with wacky sounds, but that was already a problem of Scratch Pet Land. At most points though, Baudoux?s wackiness works perfectly. On ?Super Puni? he teams up with his Belgian comrade Niko Usk? for four minutes of instrumental hip hop. And on ?O > < K? he finds his path back to his Fan Club Orchestra days with a lovely and hectic chiptune. Obviously, Sun OK Papi K.O. is not recommended to people who suffer from epilepsy or hyperactivity because you need some strong nerves to get through this album. Once the first shock is absorbed though, this is instantly rewarding. 9/10 -- Stephan Bauer (11 September, 2006)