DR. OCTAGON Dr. Octagonecologyst (Mo Wax)

The 1996 triple album “Dr. Octagonecologyst” is the first pseudonymous long player from former Ultramagnetic MC Kool Keith. Like a hip-hop Ziggy Stardust, the titular healthcare professional appears to be a foul-mouthed, alien, rapping bogus gynaecologist with substantial side-fascinations with daytime television soaps, physics, chemistry and engineering.

The bad Doctor’s pioneering work in the genre apparently known as pornocore is apparent from the x-rated likes of “Intro” and “Visit To The Gynaecologist”; this album earns its parental advisory stripes like few others in my collection. Dr. Keith’s awesome verbal dexterity is a more marketable asset: on “3000”, “Technical Difficulties”, “On Production” and “Biology 101” sheets of rhyme slide across the beats, metre all over the place, constantly shifting syllabic emphasis. The album’s mellower, less schizoid moments are quite commercial in a laidback, Mo Waxy way, the looped electric piano of “No Awareness” and the seasick strings on “Blue Flowers” mapping out a territory not too far from that claimed by DJ Shadow and Money Mark. ”Bear Witness” cuts what sound like Chuck D, James Brown and jazzy acoustic basslines together with thrilling, beat-vaulting dexterity, and although “Girl Let Me Touch You” would require considerable scrubbing up before being allowed anywhere near a radio playlist it’s still just about possible to admire its clever, intricate construction. “Wild And Crazy” serves up the kind of rap braggadocio Ultramagnetic MC’s used to major in, before Public Enemy showed that hip-hop artists could discuss topics other than their microphone fiendishness, albeit with extra scatology, and on “1977” he appears to inveigle his way, “Zelig”-like, into hip-hop history.

A classic of the genre, apparently (and presumably of the many subgenres it spawned as well), “Dr. Octagonecologyst” is better left to the more broadminded – both musically and morally – listener. Also, like all my other Mo Wax vinyl, it has the authentic sound of a mouldy, dusty, musty album recently exhumed from a marathon crate-digging session.