After 22 years, the visionary trio of Kool Keith, Dan the Automator, and DJ Qbert have reunited for Moosebumps: An Exploration into Modern Day Horripilation, the much-anticipated sequel to 1996's beloved Dr. Octagonecologyst. Largely recorded during marathon, 24-hour sessions at Automator's studio, Moosebumps has a palpable urgency. When Kool Keith reprises his role as the lecherous Dr. Octagon, it sounds as though he's been speeding through the cosmos since ‘96 and recording every noteworthy enterprise.
Whether rapping alongside frequent Automator collaborator Del the Funky Homosapien("3030 Meets the Doc Pt. 1") or alone, Keith expands the Dr. Octagon mythos, utilizing his timeless, off-kilter cadences to relay everything from Octagon's shameless branding ("Octagon Octagon") to his kinkiest shenanigans. In short, Moosebumps finds the same incorrigible Octagon in improved and more outlandish garb. For their part, the Automator and Qbert have retained the aural ethos of Dr. Octagonecologyst while adding new melodies and instrumentation to the Dr. Octagon universe. "Area 54," for instance, is a surreal exercise in juxtaposition, as plinking keys temper cavernous drum breaks, haunting choral moans, and searing horns.
Elsewhere, Qbert adds flurries of flares and cuts at seemingly inhuman speeds ("Bear Witness IV") to grinding guitars ("Karma Sutra"), lugubrious synths ("Black Hole Son"), and more. Bolstered by Keith's rapping, the sounds on Moosebumps will resonate with rap fans for decades to come. "Dr. Octagon is not a contemporary thing or a retro thing," the Automator says. "It's always looked to the future."