Acid Ragtime: Maybe Not Worth The Trip
Created by wilhelminaframe on 2/2/2015 9:59:01 PM

Music Correspondent Mister M reviews of the latest musical missive from Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer.

As a fan of toff-talking Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer, I ordered his latest album Acid Ragtime: Chapstep Vol.1. The package arrived from England. After one play, I gave it to my buddy Vourteque who is a self-admitted fan of 90s dance music. My reason: “It’s blippy-bloopy dance music.”


The Gentleman Rhymer affects an upper class accent for his hip-hop, accompanying himself on banjolele. He spins self-depreciating tales of rakish ribaldry gone awry. For Acid Ragtime, he adopts the moniker of the Gentleman Selector. It’s appropriate, as he diverges from his previous style. 


The digression does not measure up to the wit he displays at the Gentleman Rhymer. I appreciate it when an artist attempts something new. The title made me think that he might be aiming his banjolele and wordplay to the club scene. It was clever to call it Acid Ragtime, a play on acid jazz. The All Music Guide to Electronica says “An energetic, groove-centered variant of jazz for a generation of club-oriented youth, acid jazz as a style originated in London during the mid-80’s fostered by rare groove DJs who spun their favorite records, whether they were up to par from a jazz standpoint or not.” It seemed like acid ragtime could be a variant of this genre treasure hunt. My ears anticipated syncopated ragtime meeting beats.  I thought that I might get an electro swing version of “The Entertainer” (the piano rag from The Sting). Instead, it’s just largely instrumental dance club music with the occasional Edwardian cry of something like “I say!” in place of “Party people dance now!” This hardly defines a new genre.


Perhaps I didn’t give it a try. My anticipation was high and possibly misguided. One spin may not have been a fair trial, but it certainly did not endear itself to any additional spins.  It just wasn’t’ my cup of ecstasy-spiked tea. 


Acid Ragtime: Chapstep Volume One is available directly from Mister B.


Mr. M plays theremin and other oddball musical devices in the old-timey mad scientist band The White City Rippers and twangs washtub bass in the steampunk Britney Spears tribute band Spears and Gears. He also spins the amber oldies with the Lords & Ladies DJ crew.

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