For fans of Moeller's production work, that may be disappointing. But it's no accident: Moeller clearly wants to showcase his vocalists (there are complete lyrics and vocalist bios printed in the booklet, further highlighting their importance to Moeller, who takes no such credit himself) and he does so by sticking to the background, weaving midtempo electronic dub tapestries for them to work their magic over. Even the one instrumental track here, "House of Love" plays it pretty cool. Moeller's textural dubs pull off the careful balancing act of being subtle and spacious enough to allow the words to shine, but dense and active enough to hold interest throughout. And they do so with typical Moeller aplomb.
Hyperdub's Spaceape, South London dub and dancehall vet Ras B and the always-reliable Paul St. Hilaire (a longtime Beat Pharmacy collaborator) are the strongest voices on Wikkid Times, garnering two songs each. Also pulling double duty is relative newcomer Coppa, whose turn on leadoff cut "Rooftops" sets the tone as well as providing the album with its title ("Make me need freedom for my mind / In these wicked times") and manifesto.
Wikkid Times is a dark album and at times it seems as if it might be swallowed by the dark subject matter. The odd uplifting cut rescues it from the brink, however: "Sunshine" featuring St. Hilaire comes just in the nick of time, for instance, and the final two cuts raise the tempo significantly, ending the album with a solid one-two punch. If Moeller's intention was to make listeners think while they groove, he has surely succeeded.
Thu / 9 Apr 2009
01. Rooftops feat. Coppa
02. Time feat. Damon Aaron
03. Strangers feat. Spaceape
04. Sunshine feat. Paul St. Hilaire
05. Hope & Frustration feat. Ras B
06. House of Love
07. Piece of Mind feat. Coppa
08. Ghostship feat. Spaceape
09. Nuclear Race feat. Paul St. Hilaire
10. Backwards Never feat. Infinity
11. Assassination of the Mind feat. Ras B