MF Doom - Live From Planet X

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(Nature Sounds/Shogun)

A live album is always going to be ‘just another live album’, it will never recreate the scene entirely unless you were there. To the average listener, you lack the sweat, anticipation, alcohol, lighting, smoke and vibe of a packed excited crowd pushing toward the stage. You miss the entrance of the performer, the way they worked the crowd, how much of a performer they really were and whether or not you enjoyed it.

But the people that attended the DNA lounge performance in San Francisco, they will remember the moment he came on stage, the joy as he laughed about the lighting, his facial expressions as he rhymed his riddles and how they felt when he played their favourite song. Unfortunately with the lack of interaction from Doom & the crowd and the element of live recording, this makes me feel like I’m listening to a reasonably shitty recording of a Best of Doom compilation.

Recorded Pre MMFood & Madvillainy, Doom manages to cover at least one release from almost his entire solo back catalogue, exceptions being Venomous Villian and the focus centred on Operation Doomsday. Operation Doomsday is my favourite Doom release, mainly based around the consistency of the great tracks & experimental production, so trackwise this album was great for me. Those who are more partial to King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn or Madvillian releases may be somewhat disappointed as they only account for half the tracks performed combined, with all the rest coming from Doomsday.

One thing I found disappointing is the lack of interaction with the crowd, Doom gets up there and gets the job done which is essentially what he is there to do, but I enjoy shows where the performer makes the crowd feel completely part of it. Doom performs as if he was performing a medley, one after the other constant tracks with maximum five second breaks. I feel there could have been a lot more interaction but then again Doom is unconventional and quintessentially underground, he always been different & done his own thing, I would be interested to know if he performs with his mask on.

If you are a pedantic obsessive devotee of the Doom clandestine religion then I guess you’ve already caught this, but in no way is it an essential album in terms of greatness. If you already have his albums Operation Doomsday, Vaudeville Villian or Take Me To Your Leader they are all better recorded, more audible & enjoyable.

The most impressive part of this album is that Doom can perform all his off tempo, riddled tongue twisters with ease, proving he is just as talented inside the studio as out, and doesn’t drop in when recording. There is nothing overtly bad about this album and it could be a great way for people to get a broad view of MF Doom without buying each different album for each different alias. Despite but there is little that separates the full length studio LP’s to his live recording and I feel is somewhat unnecessary with his extensive back catalogue.

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