Cryptacize + Serengeti & Polyphonic
Hideout; Fri 10
Despite the horror-flick-worthy name, Cryptacize comes off more like an after-school special. Former Deerhoof guitarist Chris Cohen and wispy-voiced singer Nedelle Torrisi glow with childlike enthusiasm and youthful spirit. Torrisi’s hyperprecise vibrato would stand out in any school choir.
As precious as it sounds, the Bay Area group’s eager approach transcends novelty on the new Mythomania (Asthmatic Kitty), and Cohen’s skittering, unpredictable finger work separates this from anything resembling a Nickelodeon soundtrack. Torrisi’s choral-pop maneuvers are framed by the elegant latticework of Cohen’s meticulous guitar, as angular six-string figures are gracefully spun into asymmetrical cocktail-pop.
The band might seem like a weird fit with the whispered, stream-of-consciousness musings of hip-hop scribe Serengeti. But a similar avoidance of convention guides the local rapper’s fascinating Anticon debut Terradactyl, his second album featuring production from hometown pal Polyphonic. Incandescent bloops and bleeps counter brooding reflections and mumbled rhymes about heroin addicts and homelessness. Yet the rapper remains unpredictable, apt to break out into song just as soon as he’d drop a dense verse.
Paranoid wordplay on cuts such as “My Negativity” and “Call the Law” hover like a black cloud over abstracted beats. Polyphonic’s radiant washes of sound occasionally threaten to eclipse Serengeti’s cerebral rhymes, keeping this collabo far to the left of center. This is hip-hop in the loosest sense, making tonight’s bill a must-see for avant-pop enthusiasts of all stripes.