Nobody has come a long way since he released Soulmates 13 years ago, and one might say he has removed himself from the greatness that album represented and moved on. Yet without that, he would not get the progression that has lead to Vivid Green, and this marks the first time in awhile I’ve reviewed music from Alpha Pup. Not sure if the label went quiet for a bit or they lost my e-mail address, I’m uncertain at this time.
What I am certain of though is that Nobody is someone who enjoys bouncing back and forth between creating bass heavy hip-hop jams to creating nice electronic pop, all of which is quite good. It is these songs that are carried by raps or vocals, and yet I’m still moved by Nobody when there are no vocals, as is the case with “Pentwater”, filled with mind-warping synths, crispy hand claps, pumping bass, sampled Mellotron’s and a distorted tabla. It sounds like something that would/might work in a hip-hop context, but it feels so much better vocal-less. When things jump into “Rex” with massively thick horns and then dives ass deep into the gunt of consciousness, you want to rub on something until it gets raw and moist. You’re not sure if you want to run this with a rapper from Atlanta or Memphis, or keep this to yourself for more personal rubbings. “Rhombus” comes back to the wiser Nobody where things feel cinematic, stronger, and by going at a 5/4 tempo, it’s not meant to be a simple listen but you find yourself relaxed, immersed, and warm in the comfort of what’s going on. It’s sumptuous, it’s noble, it’s everything that makes you believe what Nobody is doing is grand, and you play that song even more. “Stepping Alone” features some nice vocals that help things move towards the RJD2 or DJ Shadow side of anthems, but then the worldly feel comes back with “Third Charm” and all is good with the world.
When the album closes with something that might sound like it was chopped and diced from the section of elsewhere, you know something is up when the drum tracks are put together in this manner. The synth bass in the title track comes in and now it sounds like something you would expect to hear in a sports highlight real, or maybe something more powerful. I enjoy it when Nobody plays with power, and wish he would always create music like this, but he probably also knows that power doesn’t bring massive royalty checks, so he’ll create what is “good enough” for the masses, and save the greatness for those who care. Vivid Green is a nice bridge between what happened before and what is happening now and with his work, the future is always bright(er).