By Ana Gonzalez
Yessir Whatever is the third full-length album from the wonderfully freaky, science fiction apparition that is Quasimoto. As the helium-inflated alter ego of Stones Throw Records’ Madlib, Lord Quas depicts a spacey world created by snippets of his past that, when combined, transport the listener to a trance-like planet where weed clouds muffle the voices of antique radio shows and summer block parties.
This album is quintessential Stones Throw. It is a slow burning piece of art that keeps the listener hooked in an almost hypnotic fashion. Every track has elements of afrofuturism (see “Astronaut” for some not-so-subtle Sun Ra references), multiple personality disorders, and sounds of genres passed. Yessir Whatever brings the art of sampling past its typical use as a beat-making technique or an accessory to the groove: in the world of Lord Quas, the samples work together, sparingly, like the instruments in a band. His work with hi- and lo-pass filters (on “Seasons Change” in particular) show a level technical proficiency inspired by Daft Punk, but there is an obvious intention to distance this record from its MP3 origins.
There are synthetic pops and crackles on every single track and even some subtle LP-inspired tempo warps on “The Front”. Quasimoto obviously wants his listeners to feel as if they are not streaming his record online, that they are not listening to data on a computer, smart phone, or MP3 player, but, rather, they are listening to him on a turntable in their living room.
That being said, this album has its pitfalls. The first foremost being that, as a cohesive work, all of the tracks blend together. There are moments of variance within tracks, but, overall, the tempo and feel from song to song stays the same. This is a common occurrence amongst Stones Throw productions: they all find one killin groove and stick to it. This makes it nearly impossible to pick one great, memorable track out of the bunch because, by the end of the album, all of the distinct sounds have merged into one work. However, this might just be the goal of an album like Yessir Whatever. Quasimoto might just want his listeners to feel like they can’t just pick one song form his albums because one song is not enough to get lost in. One song cannot paint the aforementioned world of cannabis clouds and Sun Ra whispers because the mind of Quasimoto cannot be deduced to one song.