May 31st, 2012 | Album reviews

Alpha Pup

Beatmaker, producer and DJ Dot is also an opera singer with an eye for detail. Her debut release mixes hip-hop beats with samples culled from Bali and beyond; the result is Low End Theory-style instrumental hip-hop with dashes of psychedelia and avant-garde jazz. Imagine what it would sound like if Daedelus and Free the Robots teamed up to score the soundtrack to a mid-90s Tim Burton flick, and you’ve got Calliope. “Simple Simon” is a down-tempo number featuring an eerie, wobbling vintage-sounding keyboard hook; “White Noise” shows off Dot’s production chops as pianos (or are those gamelans?) float suspended between a lurching kick and a processed cymbal; “Desert Storm” sprinkles 8-bit hooks over a head-nodding beat and ornaments it all with intertwining countermelodies. Calliope is plenty good, but my prediction is it that it’s only going to be the beginning for Dot. Keep an eye on this one—we will.

—Kristina Benson