Daily Download: "Awful Raw," Mike Ladd

Published January 25, 2006 8:01AM (EST)

Hip-hop artist Mike Ladd, a bona fide star in his adopted home of France, has a restless mind and a thirst for lofty, big ideas, and while his music is sometimes nearly crushed beneath the weight of his concepts it is ultimately resilient stuff, some of the most challenging and intriguing being made, and layered with meaning, working on many levels simultaneously. His latest album, "Father Divine," is one of his least conceptually loaded (or at least the concept has become so abstruse as to be indecipherable) and it is also one of his most enjoyable. "Awful Raw" is a nice example of Ladd's distinctively spare-but-cluttered production style, a skittering bhangra hip-hop track disrupted by eerily echoing horn samples.

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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