The Koreatown Oddity’s A Beat at the Table is uncomplicated in concept but rich in pleasures, a 19-minute tape of scuzzy trunk-rattlers scrounged from bits of Solange’s A Seat at the Table." /> THE KOREATOWN ODDITY: A BEAT AT THE TABLE | L.A. RECORD

THE KOREATOWN ODDITY: A BEAT AT THE TABLE

January 26th, 2018 | Album reviews

THE KOREATOWN ODDITY
A Beat At The Table
Strictly Cassette

Isn’t it nice when things are exactly as they seem? The Koreatown Oddity’s A Beat at the Table is uncomplicated in concept but rich in pleasures, a 19-minute tape of scuzzy trunk-rattlers scrounged from bits of Solange’s A Seat at the Table. Not that Dominique Purdy is averse to high art—last year’s Finna Be Past Tense found the L.A. native tackling existence itself over a technicolor blanket of Vex Ruffin beats. But with Purdy on the pads and no one on the mic, things are a little more playful, with Solange’s voice hiccupping between tape hiss and murky bass. Self-empowerment anthem “Don’t Touch My Hair” is flipped from composite delicacy to Low End Theory banger, its protective denial perverted into a looped plea to “touch my soul.” And that “Cranes in the Sky” melody (yes, now it’s stuck in your head, sorry) pops up at various points, at various angles—a confident moment here or a demo-fidelity confessional there, like a television theme that keeps changing from episode to episode. But some of the tape’s most arresting moments come from letting the powerful source material shine through, like on the “Dad Was Mad (Interlude)” appropriation of “KKK members, holding signs, throwing cans at us…” Lest we forget, A Seat at the Table was released in 2016—after 2017, it’s time—and it’s damn near necessary, too—to view it through a new lens.

—Zach Bilson