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Bumblebeez 81
THE PRINTZ
(Geffen/Interscope)

Looking back at Beckís 1994 debut, Mellow Gold (Geffen), you can see the seeds of something more than slacker, white-rap novelty in the song that became his calling card, "Loser." To judge from Chris Colonnaís Bumblebeez 81 project, heís a bit more interested in the rest of that seminal album ó the fuzzed-out grime of "Motherfucker" and the trashy hip-pop collage of "Beercan." Using those deep cuts for inspiration, he basement-mixes hip-hop raps and grooves with lo-fi garage grit and, like Beck, steps back to see what sticks on The Printz, a collection culled from two Australian EPs thatís become Bumblebeez 81ís introduction to the US. Too much here doesnít quite stick, but Colonna is nonetheless an inspired musical mathematician, adding acoustic guitar to coax his distorted vocals into detachment on "Pony Ride" and subtracting a beat from the midsection of "Rappa," one of several tracks that features his sister Vila ably busting rhymes over dilapidated rhythms. It took Beck another couple years to build up to Odelay, his true classic. Colonna has a fighting chance of doing the same if he can rein in his kitchen-sink æsthetic and return with something a bit more cohesive.

BY JEFF MILLER


Issue Date: August 13 - 19, 2004
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