"Bradley Thomas, a.k.a. D.L.O. the Iceman, has become one of Madison hip-hop's finest. He's proven his worth as an MC and a producer of instrumentals (see the fine five-part Pempstrumentals series), in settings ranging from the band Dumate, to the duo IceMantis, to the James Baldwin- and Billie Holiday-inspired Billie James Project, to an earlier solo album, Customer Service. So the best way to get caught up on his talent is Freewrites, which includes some previously released work and lots of terrific odds and ends.
On "Sudafed," Thomas has a cold and raps about it. It's no "Through the Wire," but it showcases a flow that's at once light-footed and sober-minded. He manipulates a skittering piano sample into another great instrumental on "Remind Me" and tackles his strongest theme — the ups and downs of a responsible adulthood — on "Make It Out Here."
Review by The Daily Page, top 10 LPS of 2012
"DLO the Iceman’s free (via Bandcamp) new release, titled Freewrites, aims to put Madison, Wisc. on your map. DLO stands front and center on the tape, but he brings along local homeys such as the laid back, syrupy-voiced (and hilariously named) Dudu Stinks, Man Mantis-affiliated live band Dumate, O-Dot, and the Billie James project, which may or may not include the whole gang in a high-concept simultaneous tribute to Billie Holiday’s music and James Baldwin’s writing.
Other notable guests include well-established Southern eccentric Count Bass D, Dee Rail and Milwaukee’s The Figureheads. The gangs all here, for sure, but Freewrites plays more like a groovy living-room cypher than a bunch of raucous posse cuts. Everybody patiently awaits their turn to spit sharp, clever bars over some jazzy, funked-up boom-bap."
Review at Potholes in my Blog, 2012
released 23 March 2012
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