Buck 65

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Weirdo Magnet (1996), 5/10
Language Arts (1997), 6.5/10
Vertex (1999), 6.5/10
Man Overboard (2001), 5.5/10
Synesthesia (2001), 6/10
Square (2003), 6/10
Talkin' Honky Blues (2003), 6/10
Secret House Against The World (2005), 5/10
Situation (2007), 5/10
Bike For Three: More Heart Than Brains (2009), 6/10

Canadian hip-hop producer and rapper Richard "Buck 65" Terfry is, at heart, an existential hobo whose laments rely on piano and guitar as much as on the traditional hip-hop arsenal. After the single Chin Music (1992), Terfry debuted in a duo with Sixtoo, Sebutones, that released the cassette Psoriasis (1996) and 50/50 Where It Counts (1998).

Weirdo Magnet (1996), the first part of the "Language Arts" series, and the trilogy of 12" EPs The Wild Life (1997) were still tentative, but the 45-minute long piece Language Arts (Metaforensics, 1997), his artistic manifesto, and the concept album Vertex (Four Ways, 1999) displayed a unique art of stark storytelling and philosophizing. Man Overboard (Anticon, 2001) was less radical and less introverted. The fourth (not fifth, as advertised) part of the "Language Arts" series, the complex Synesthesia (2001), contains 38 uninterrupted pieces, while Square (Warner, 2003) contains only four 15-minute tracks. The somber Talkin' Honky Blues (Warner, 2003) avails itself of a folk/blues band that lends an even more "rustic" sound to the gloomy proceedings.

This Right Here Is Buck 65 (2004) is a compilation.

Secret House Against The World (Warner, 2005) is one of those albums that sound monotonous despite being so eclectic. There are narrative gems (Surrender to Strangeness, Corrugated Tin Facade) and dark ambience (The Suffering Machine and Rough House Blues) to keep the proceedings interesting, but the continuous change of musical setting does not amount to much. Each song sounds like the same man playing the same character with just different clothes. Basically, there is no bite in Buck 65's interpretations. Even the propulsive Le 65isme, Blanc-Bec and Kennedy Killed The Hat come through as old-fashioned rather than poignant.

Situation (2007) simplified his craft of inventive singalons, and only a couple stood up to his fame (1957, Dang).

Bike For Three was a collaboration between Belgian-based producer Joelle Phuong Minh Le of Greetings From Tuskan and Buck 65 that debuted with More Heart Than Brains (Anticon, 2009), a sort of remix of Square.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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