Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

BLNRB: Welcome to the Madhouse [Out Here, 2011]
In which minor German electronic music duo Gebrüder Teichmann, major Berlin techno-populists Modeselektor, and sexy Euro-multiculturalists Jahcoozi take up residence in Kenya via Goethe-Institut Nairobi and spend a month working out a fusion with local rappers. Miraculously, they avoid paternalism and other mismatches until an emotive singer-guitarist initiates a downshift. Until then it's an excited Afro-minimalist blast, with "first lady of Kenyan rap" Nazizi and aspiring electropoppers Just a Band bringing extra spritz and tune to a delighted mesh that's at its best when a sinuous synth buzz snakes like a digital didgeridoo through four tracks that begin with one called "Ma Bhoom Bhoom Bhoom." Even the dubby stuff at the end gathers contemplative charm. It's like a crew album where the crew has real mojo. A-