Retarded Fren

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Thom Yorke’s spooky remix of Doom’s mush-mouthed auction of rhyme on “Gazzillion Ear” was a logical growth from Yorke’s solo digital noodling.  But Yorke’s collaboration with Doom on a brilliant track, the stunningly titled “Retarded Fren,” for Lex Records’ tenth anniversary is something else entirely. For their part, Yorke and his artistic confidant, Jonny Greenwood  have crafted an intricate beat lurches and totters on unsteady legs.  Woven amid the beat is the yawning gasps and plucky hiccups from a chamber orchestra.  And when Doom starts his pleasantly schizophrenic rhymes over this digital rococo, it’s almost enough to make too much.  But it holds its own because it is so rewardingly strange, so absurdly competent.

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11 2011

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