Newly formed trio, the National Parcs (Ian Cameron, Chimwemwe Miller and Montreal-scene veteran Vincent “Freeworm” Letellier), have crafted an ecological hip-hop tour de force out of collaged sounds collected from nature.
The CD is good, but to get the whole experience, you really have to watch the DVD – videos that show both the creative process, as well as being artistic extensions of the songs themselves. They show the three making and recording sounds using branches, logs and stones, a kick drum against a canoe, water rushing through a beaver dam and Miller rapping as he walks across a muddy bank.
Opener “Border Patrol” is textured with chain-gang chanting vocals; the warped lens and blue tuxedos of “Powerline” add visual interest. Most intriguing, though, is “Down by the River,” with glitchy, crackling beats and smooth vocals and keyboards, a study in contrasts between fire and water that melded perfectly with the video. Other favourites are “Clickety-Clack” and “Twelve Word Song,” especially the giant log xylophone.
Timbervision is smart, rich Canadian hip-hop for not only die-hard fans, but also newcomers.