The Underwater Adventure Hop Secret Treasure
Record label: Counterflow Recordings
Format: 12/CD
Release date: June 2002

Counterflow Recordings is one of those labels that should be mentioned in the same breath as Definitive Jux or Chocolate Industries, but for some reason it barely comes up as a blip on the radar screen of underground music. It was a year or two ago that this label released its first 12-inch singles by Spirit Agent and The Avatar with Seth P. Brundel, forward-thinking hip-hop that was tragically overlooked. Counterflow has kept quite busy since then, dropping gems from Slug and El-P, Fat Jon, Five Deez, and even former Digable Planets member Cee-Knowledge a.k.a. Doodlebug (bringing along members of the Sun Ra Arkestra for the ride). Perhaps most mysterious of all was the release by the Secret Frequency Crew. A single entitled "Deep Blue" was quietly revealed to an unsuspecting public. Featuring gorgeous artwork of a robotic dolphin and freaky aquatic sounds, the single generated a buzz among downtempo fans and even got love from DJ Craze. Their five-song EP continues the ride into darker waters. "Gold" is another ear-grabber, managing to create somewhat ominous rhythms with angelic undertones. Beats of a slightly paranoid dream state, the music of Secret Frequency Crew leaves its mark quickly, digging under your skin and sinking its claws in for permanent residence. The CD also contains both remixes from the "Deep Blue" single: one uptempo mix by Eli-173, the other by High Priest of the now defunct Anti-Pop Consortium. Both are fantastic.

{downtempo don}

back to reviews page