PAT MAHERR is probably best known for his explorations into fetishistic industrial ambience under the INDIGNANT SENILITY moniker, but cassette hoarders will know that the Oregon-based producer runs a syrup-laced sideline in half-speed rap. Through a handful of tapes, Maherr's DJ SCREW-influenced sound has already bagged him something of a cult following, but Bubblethug, his sophomore 'album proper' truly takes things further into the abyss, melting his signature pulse into a dark, viscous tar. Pitch shifting rap tracks might not be a new idea at this point (hell, it's practically a mainstream practice in Houston), but Maherr takes this as just an entry point-slicing and stretching his chosen joints into a buzzing symphony of stutters, noise and chewed-up cassette tape. The resulting pieces are thick, heavy and pummelling-a demonic mid-point between punk and rap that mercifully avoids ska. The distant skeletons of the original songs are all but dissolved as the beats decompose noisily around them, dissolving choruses and crushing the life out of guest emcees. Links to lo-fi music, hypnogogic pop and psychedelic music will no doubt be made, but Bubblethug is defiantly hip hop from beginning to end. There's a beat, there's a rapper and with the help of Maherr's spread of tape machines and filters he's taking the genre to places it rarely gets to go. It might only tentatively balance on the 'elements'... but when rap's got no other place to go, all that's left is to travel deep down into the annals of unacceptability.