Dr. Octagon

The rumors surrounding the long-awaited follow-up to one of Kool Keith's most infamous creations, 1996's

Dr. Octagonecologyst

, only serve to complicate an already convoluted character. To bring about

The Return of Dr. Octagon

, Kool Keith's vocal tracks (supposedly from a 2002 session with producer Fantik-J) were appropriated by Simon Walbrook, John Lindland and Ben Green--a trio of knob-turners from Berlin known as One Watt Sun. Whether this is a Kool Keith-approved product or not, it's still one of his most commercially viable releases in a long time. That's not to say it's up to par with previous ventures. While ultimately palatable, only a handful of tracks stand out. The boomeranging beats-per-minute of "Aliens" infects with symptoms of head nods and hip sways while tracks like "Ants" and "Trees" pull off a passable elastic space funk. Foul-mouthed fräulein Princess Superstar guests on "Eat It," which is as profane as one would hope for. But the absence of original Dr. Octagon collaborators Dan the Automator and Q-Bert is painfully apparent throughout, especially on forgettable DJ showcases like "Al Green" and "Perfect World." While more interesting than your run-of-the-mill club thumper, this is not the triumphant return that most fans have been hoping for.

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