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Although Anti-Pop Consortium had its origins in the fever-dream of New York’s mid-1990s underground, it wasn’t until the spring of 2002 that the four-man group secured its status as a group that mattered. Arrhythmia—a minor masterpiece of weirdo-electro beats and deadpan rhymes—arrived during the 9/11 hangover, and it was hardly reassuring. The group broke up soon afterward. The new Flourescent Black puts everything in focus. Reunited with its Akai MPCs and microphone skills intact, the Consortium sounds comfortable in its niche. The chest-blasting digi-funk is more listenable than ever, and the crisp, reference-heavy rhymes never collapse under their own weight. And just in case the group’s intentions aren’t clear, there’s a well-polished single (“Volcano”) that offers a little somethin’ for almost every kind of head. It’s almost like they’re having fun.
ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM PERFORMS AT 10 P.M. WITH THE PANTS VELOUR AT THE ROCK & ROLL HOTEL, 1353 H ST. NE. $12–$14. (202) 388-7625.