Serengeti – C.A.R.
Credited to Serengeti, but featuring a three-way collab between the rapper and Anticon mainstays Jel and Odd Nosdam, C.A.R. is a deliciously loose and accessible album from the awkward artistic leaders of the US underground hip-hop scene. Clocking eleven tracks in a little over thirty minutes, it's heavy on strange sonic ideas and grooves but light on head-mangling concepts or approaches, which is part of its broad appeal.
Serengeti's rhymes are humorous and deceptively throwaway, delivered with a slouch and swagger all his own. Talk To Me, with its refrain of 'Where you been, baby...' has the loping stoner appeal of early Beck. Jel drops a verse and some serious beat-juggling technique on Nice, while Geti Life feels like a freestyle, with Edan-esque humour. The whole project feels thrown together and improvised, but therein lies its strength – three friends with years in the hip-hop scene trading ideas, techniques and silly shit over beats. Neither a challenging nor particularly groundbreaking record, it's still enormously satisfying. [Bram Gieben]