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splendid > reviews > 4/4/2002
Fog
Fog
Self-Titled
Ninja Tune


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Staring at the Dashboard"

Buy me now
Hydrocodone with acetaminophen is a great thing sometimes. Hydrocodone's narcotic and analgesic properties are curiously enhanced by the introduction of acetaminophen. However, this isn't a medical essay on narcotics, but a brief musical warning about Vicodin, its generic equivalents, and a trippy, genre-twisting album created by Fog.

I don't suggest swallowing a more-than-recommended dose of your friend's prescription Hydrocodone and then plopping Fog's self titled release into the CD player. It's bad enough staring at the computer screen in a narcotic haze for hours, but augmenting it with Minneapolis turntablist/producer Andrew Broder's (aka Fog) wack compositions of deliberate droning and feverish scratching is flirting with danger. Broder gently provokes your senses with curious combinations of divergent instruments, creating a collection of progressive musical oddities that is entertaining as well as musically fascinating.

While most artists would attempt to entice you with a strong musical track as their opening number, Fog sticks to the aptly-titled spoken word piece "A Word of Advice". As Broder's words of wisdom come to a close, a smooth segue introduces the quirky "The Smell of Failure", which relies heavily on vocoder repetition and a strong whiff of pessimism. The most "song-oriented" tune of these thirteen is "Pneumonia", a slow-core, Hayden-like folk-rocker that eventually replaces acoustic guitars with samples and turntable scratches. "Fuckedupfuckfuckup" continues along this duplicitous path with programmed drumbeats and swooning chords, all to the tune of backmasking and turntable-friendly fingering.

Indeed, this is a self-imposed "Fog" of sorts, as these slow moving but precisely calculated numbers swirl and tumble through a constantly evolving set of instrumental implementations. There's nothing mystical about how Broder manipulates his cache of instruments and sounds, but the product will remain a curiosity to you long after those barbiturates have worn off.



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