First album recommendation for 2011! Professor Elemental is an Explorer, Scientist and Exotic Dancer with a chimp butler called Geoffrey. It’s important to know this as Geoffrey gets referenced a lot in the course of the ‘The Indifference Engine’, his new album. Never in danger of becoming a novelty act, the Professor tackles various themes such as animal experimentation, exploration, sinister village fetes and invention in his ‘steampunk hip hop’ style. It’s all bloody good fun that helps cheer up these gloomy winter months.
As a good example of what you can expect to find, here is the glorious ‘Fighting Trousers’, with reference to aforementioned butler at the start:
Which as I listened, I realised was a diss of Mr B, the Gentleman Rhymer. I’d like to think it’s gentle mocking, but the more I listen, the more I think he means it. Apparently, the feeling is that Mr B is ‘biting’ Elemental and parodying his take on chap-hop. The reference to ‘sold out to Coca Cola’ is because Mr B’s previous incarnation as the lead rapper in Collapsed Lung, sold their song ‘Eat my Goal’ to be used in Coke adverts, and subsequently was the earworm of that year. This alone could be reason enough to hold a grudge, but I happen to like both chaps, and think that their music takes quite different routes. If you listen to previous ‘Elemental’ albums Gentlemen of Leisure (a free download from his site) and Rebel without Applause ( the ‘fairground hip hop’ album with Tom Caruana), this feels like the first proper record as the pith-helmeted ‘Professor Elemental’ persona. Those 2 previous albums are strikingly different in style, with the exception of ‘Cup of Brown Joy’, the worship song for tea:
Musically, this track fits in better on The Indifference Engine. All of it different to Mr B at any rate. Hopefully they can patch up their differences and treat the world to a duet?
Anyway, all of Professor Elemental’s songs can be previewed in his Emporium, so it’s now time to pop along for a listen!