Dr. Octagon – Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation (Bulk, Apr 6)

Dr. Octagon is here once again. Though the release of Moosebumps doesn’t exactly mark the long-awaited return of Kool Keith, who has been releasing music rather consistently since 1996, it feels like something important. Dan the Automator and DJ Q-Bert, masterminds behind the production and beats of the project’s sprawling debut opus Dr. Octagonecologyst, are both back and in top form on Moosebumps. The “active DJ” feel is sorely missed in many recent hip-hop projects I’ve heard, but it’s here in spades, with Q-Bert’s dusty percussion loops and tasteful scratches providing lush backdrops for Keith’s dizzying bars. Moosebumps is a more laid back and less brashly bizarre album than Dr. Octagonecologyst, but it still has no shortage of charisma and weirdness. Keith sounds like he’s having as much fun as ever (and who wouldn’t when someone’s “playing with [their] scrotum like a hi-hat”). A guest appearance by Del the Funky Homosapien is a welcome addition, the two MCs’ chemistry making “3030 Meets the Doc (Pt. 1)” one of the record’s best tracks – and hopefully we’ll get a “Pt. 2” at some point. Though it’s hard not to think of Moosebumps as a reunion album, especially with the various callbacks to the debut (when the porn sample interlude surfaced somewhere in the middle I burst out laughing, remembering countless weird looks from people to whom I tried to show Dr. Octagonecologyst so long ago), it stands well on its own and is truly a fitting followup.