Odd Nosdam: T.I.M.E. Soundtrack

By: Greg Gargiulo

You wouldn't exactly have an easy time matching the face with the name after giving Odd Nosdam's T.I.M.E. Soundtrack (reissued February 17 on Anticon.) a good listen. Take a dive into the crunchy beats and gritty pow of T.I.M.E., which is characterized by a hard, rough-and-tumble hip-hop flavor, and David P. Madson, the plaid-clad, bearded skater out of Cincinnati probably wouldn't be the first personage to come to mind. Nonetheless, he is the mover behind this music and he crafts with an amazing knack for piecing together bumping loops and killer breaks, old school beat methods and fresh rhythms into a cohesive, extremely listenable assortment.

The reissue (originally released in '07) serves as the soundtrack to Element Skateboards' This Is My Element, a comprehensive skating video that features such well-known professionals as Chad Muska and Bam Margera blowing minds with their board-maneuvering mastery. To inspire his score-making efforts, Nosdam attempted to interpret the stylistic trademarks of each skater and convert them into applicable nuggets to fit their clips. Some translate to choppy, disjointed, chaos-driven inserts, while others to multi-segmented, dramatic compositions. Nosdam is known as a crate excavator, scouring through yard sales and record shops wherever he can in search of undiscovered diamonds, and traces of that dedication are evident in the diversity offered here. On the whole, T.I.M.E. packs a damn solid punch, being both grating and assaulting, yet doing so in a manner that winds up pleasurable to the ears. There are glitchy wisps of Prefuse 73, bits of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist in certain structures, but overall, Nosdam's sound is distinctively and definitively of his own.

A common thread runs through T.I.M.E., something of a vintage hip-hop core sprinkled with modern, novel spices, yet many tracks have very divergent identities unto themselves. "Top Rank" has a chipper, bouncy central riff resting on a smashing bassline, and "Ethereal Slap" is one that's based on a more psychedelic, ambient-infused model, lined with chill bells, echoing drones and a simple snare beat. Both are nicely organized into soothing movements that carry one floatingly by. Then, take the concluding "T.I.M.E. Out," made up of a barrage of wacky sound bits coming at you in unexpected shifts with a kooky time sequence, and "Trunk Bomb," which is reminiscent of the Knight Rider theme song taken to a chop shop and boldly reconfigured, and you begin to hear how many different niches this music dips into. Throw in the guitar-driven, distortion-laden "We Bad Apples," and you understand how this harmonious disparity continues unabated as the man behind the curtain, whoever he is, twists, spins, turns and molds all these jagged jigsaw pieces into one eclectic, entirely refreshing puzzle.

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[Published on: 5/5/09]

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