LadyMan - Viagra Opus

Raz Mesinai has evolved as an artist to such a degree since his illbient days as one half of Sub Dub, that he needed a new alias. As Badawi, he began trading in strictly dubwise skanks with a Middle Eastern tinge. Nowadays, the Badawi brand offers progressive, ever-more complex rhythm-oriented work with a handful of downtown artists (check out his latest ROIR release, Clones and False Prophets). And under his given name, he has been releasing even more conceptual pieces with the same crowd, mostly on Tzadik.

Perhaps LadyMan was chosen as the monicker under which he could allow himself to continue to enjoy his fun-loving roots (in at least two senses of the word), such as were heard on his first solo album, Bedouin Sound System.

The spoofed bio accompanying the promo of LadyMan's debut, Viagra Opus, goes like this: "hook-laden dancehall and dub excursions....This sleazy, weird, bass playing character LadyMan was dropping around Badawi's studio for days on end, leaving a teeming dune of fast food packaging, offended women at the local deli, and a pissed off Mrs. Badawi in his wake. After recovering from a bleeding headache and the sheer frustration of dealing with someone so unwaveringly dense about sexual tact, Badawi was always amazed at what he would find on the 2" tape recorder. How could this obnoxious idiot make such good music?"

Well, the idiot must be a savant, and despite the album's title - and track titles like "Sexy Beast", "Lady Killa", "Womanizer Dub", and "Feeely Soft" and "Feeely Hard" (sic) - there's no dirty old man scuzz here, just entertaining, unpretentious skank. The second-last cut, "Old Spice", will be familiar to fans of The Agriculture catalogue, as it first appeared a few years ago on the first of the label's compilations, Barbecue Beets. (But then, the nom-de-musiqe was "The Ladies Man".)

Here«s hoping LadyMan pays many more unwanted visits to the bedouin«s studio.

(Stephen Fruitman)

LadyMan, ostensibly, is the sleazier side of Raz Mesinai, better known for crossbreeding dub rhythms with traditional Middle Eastern folk music as Badawi and as one-half of early '90s NYC dub deconstructionists Sub Dub. While there are some airs of parody and cheekiness running through Viagra Opus ("Old Spice" is my favorite track title), tracks like "Infomercial" and "Feeely Hard" are no less dark than Mesinai's work with Sub Dub. Ther tracks are all good in and of themselves, especially dancehall flavored ones like "Steppin' Lady Style," but when it's all done, you're still left wondering what exactly the story is behind this Viagra opus.
(Jesse Serwer)

Spill Magazine
Yet another gem from the Agriculture Label, this is the second CD IÕve received them and itÕs awesome. Viagra Opus is loaded with cool electronic/dub chill tracks that would be a great partner on a long road trip in the country or after a long day at work with a cold one in hand.

Not much more needs to be said, pick this one up.

(Andre Skinner)