Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
Scott Herren rises above the din of frantic sample loops to make sense out of instrumental hiphop. Herren’s experimental endeavor pushes into leftfield territory. Juggled between choleric scratching and raregroove samples, at moments the listener is reminded of a five-year old playing the dial on the radio, but it is the organic element that defines and authenticates the album with unblemished vocals by the likes of Aesop Rock, MF Doom, and Mikah 9.
Chemical Brothers: Come With Us
After the cheery “heeere we go” of Exit Planet Dust, the fourth effort by the Chemical Brothers tests their ability to reinvent themselves in the middle of a lukewarm electronic season. Beckoning all in the first track to depart from solid rave ground, announced by sirens and cymbals, the Bros. launch into big-beat territory. It is here that their sequencing skills give the work a cohesive mix, making lush synth in Star Guitar fit with drill-beats in It Began in Afrika and inspired vocals by Beth Orton in The State We’re In. Collectively, the album is stronger than their previous effort, Surrender, and sees the duo in great shape.
DJ Baby Anne:
Tightly mixed live at Club Icon in Orlando, Baby Anne’s hometown, this is her third mix. Baby Anne rose to fame in the breakbeat scene with the release of Trippin on Da Bass. She defends her title of “Bass Queen” with an A-list of beats such as DJ Huff’s I wanna Dance, Elektrosmog’s Enter the Dragon and a noteworthy minimal electro by DJ Icey, The Number System. The best thing about this album is that Baby Anne knows enough about fat beats to realize that variation is key to continued listening pleasure, but she also avoids clash between tracks, subtly easing into each.
Tweaking trance tracks tailored to titillate the testiest tentacle-thumping truants, this title takes time to turn tepid. Remarkable tracks include Breathe into You from Lucy Cotter, aggressive Storm Animal from Storm and lounge-y Release the Pain/Vamonos from Carioca. Anything that takes aim at debunking the Sodom in the Balearics deserves attention, especially if the emphasis is on our very own South Beach.