Full disclosure time: Professor Elemental has contributed a track to the "Sepiachord Passport" compilation CD.
"The Indifference Engine" is the second outing for Professor Elemental's tea & steam(punk) powered Chap Hop, and I have to say it's a charmer. This collection of 10 tunes made me smile from the first time I spun it and just grew on me more and more.
Sure there's shtick here, but that's part of the fun, like Kiss or Voltaire. And true, the result is funny but it isn't a joke. The key here is that Professor Elemental is as sincere in his desire to entertain as he his in love for hip-hop *and* British weirdness. This isn't a parody, Prof El clearly loves what he's doing and hits his rhymes with as much skill as he does zest & aplomb, this is what sets him head and pith helmet above any spoof-hoppers.
It's always a good sign when I have a hard time picking out my favorite track on CD. The mirth filled manifesto of the album opener "Slendid"? The Doctor Moreau on acid number "Animal Magic"? The surreal explorations of "The Quest for the Golden Frog"? I don't know if I can make the call but I'm narrowing it down to three:
"Elixir" with it's dark MC 900 ft Jesus meets Mr Hyde vibe.
"Fighting Trousers" a diss track that, while amusing, has real teeth.
"Sweet Cold Colation" a tale of a lady with a "dress of cakes" that comes to a very twisted end.
To top it off we get a new version of Prof El's classic ode to tea "Cup of Brown Joy".
Elemental understands that the key to comedy is brevity, none of these songs over stays it's welcome and none of them plays the nudge & wink card too heavily (with the possible exception of "Fete Worse than Def", Morris Break Dancers indeed).