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OdderOtter – Corpus Callosum EP Review

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A generation reared with a Sega Genesis controller in both hands and a Sony discman nestled in the kangaroo pocket of a loose fitting hoody, what else could be the result? Ten years old worshiping Slim Shady, twelve years old looping the The Chronic 2001, and at fifteen waving Wu-Tang signs in family photos. The contradictory matrimony of hip-hop and suburban geek life was ceremoniously predicated by bleached blonde tweens reciting “Lose Yourself” ad nauseum, and years later actively engaged by the listless disengagement that saw stoner-loner Kid Cudi casually drop a handful of generational anthems. We grew up with hip-hop and gangster rap, but as our heroes aged well into their 40’s and blatant sadomasochistic forms of hegemonic masculinity began to fall out of favor, the kids who were raised on Mario Kart and anything with the black-and-white barcode “Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics” suddenly found themselves in front of synthetic drum machines and recording equipment.

Spiraling electronic 8-bit staircases, synthetic horns and percussions that multiply exponentially like bacteria, OdderOtter’s beats are part math-rap, part nerdcore, and full dizziness. Like a scribbled mosaic on a school notebook, lyrics twist and contort to form shapes, disfigured faces and acid drenched floral patterns, splashes of color and incomprehensible metaphors. The effect is disorienting at times, like a drug-fueled nightmare, but beneath the mish-mash of over-undertones there is an undeniable air of whimsicality. The nightmare is fun. “FUTURhyme” is the culmination of this sensation, a poisoned black and white cartoon dripping with bug-eyed anxiety; about an hour seems to pass but only the minute hand has jilted forward… then backward… then, downward? Odder screams to wake you up. Whoo..! What just happened?

If you wait a few moments without making a concerted effort to digest what had been said, you might just forget entirely. But that’s the point. Odder is perpetually moving, the dream has shifted. The strongest moment on the entire EP is just that, a moment. “Secretion” leaks down your hand like a cotton-candy ice cream cone. The taste is faint, and by the time you feel the cold sensation trickling up the veins of your wrist the whole thing has already melted. Odder laughs. Forget it! Check this out!

“Dying is not to be feared but rather to be studied and engineered”

There are moments of genius whirling around in the convoluted chaos, but there are also bits of broken furniture, a moldy mangled sandwich held together with a toothpick, “black maggots” and “bloated corpses”, and many other indistinguishable families of debris only present long enough for you to catch a passing whiff. “Hot Car Bee Bop” transfigures human into instrument. “Lollipop” is a wondrous experiment in sampling; like falling asleep at four AM to a TEDtalk, drifting in and out of reality. The big boss battle, however, is reserved for the last level, “Yucky Pharmaceutical”. The syncopating rhythm and horrorcore lyricism stirs up gruesome imagery, but our hero never seems to waver. Like Duke Nukem hellbent on stomping guts till his boots wear out, Odder explodes like pipebomb, twin devastators in-hand, spinning through time and space.

The carnival is over. You’re in your bed. Jesus Christ, what was the storyline of that dream? My friends were there briefly… I became a recluse… a rocket pointed to the sky? I was stepping to the left? I puked in my mouth at one point. There were corn husks, but I definitely wasn’t in Kansas. Goldust and moon-sand. I was in space at one point. Who was the British robot woman? Oh right! The kraken! Alligators! Elephants! Yeah, I definitely killed something. Or a lot of things. I’m hungry.