(Moodswing Records, 2003)
The now defunct magazine Southeast Performer featured some of the poorest writing about music I have ever read. Every once in a while, though, an artist I didn't know would be featured and would sound worth investigating. KnowMassive (birth name Jason Atkins) was the featured artist in the July 2004 issue, one of the few I've actually kept. He talked about "listening to a lot of Can, Chrome, Nurse with Wound, Current 93, and Psychic TV" and "trying to incorporate those sensibilities into hip-hop." That, coupled with the photo after the break, caught my eye. The only hip-hop I'd heard remotely along those lines was dälek, so the prospect of more was appealing.
I found MoodSwingSet at my favorite local store and decided to give it a risk. While it wasn't as out-there as I'd hope it might be, it was still pretty darn great. Most of the songs are short and laidback, making the album like a series of small, intimate snapshots. I've actually picked out the longest song to feature, and, at four-and-a-half minutes, it's nearly twice as long as the next longest piece.
I don't own a ton of hip-hop, but this is possibly my favorite album of what I have. I listen to it way more often than the two OutKast CDs I have, in fact. Sure, their highs are higher, but a consistently enjoyable and engaging album is far preferable, in my opinion, to a handful of killer songs amidst a sea of dross.
Sadly, the next album he mentions in the article never came, but at least there's this one.