Throughout musical history there are artists that gain critical acclaim, but still remain below the radar of conventional music lovers. Adrian Younge is no exception. In hip hop its rare to find someone that appreciates real musicianship instead of the digital productions we have become accustom to. The only group that comes to mind in using live instrumentation to accompany an emcee is The Roots. They carved out quite the niche in the culture with this dynamic and no one has filled their shoes yet. Quite honestly Im not sure if anyone can.
Enters Adrian Younge a musician turned producer with an affinity for all things analog. When I listen to him I feel a sort of nostalgia for a time when music wasn’t as formulaic as it has become these days. Not to say that he doesn’t have a formula, because he defenitely does. Just that his formula is his own. From the moves he makes like collaborations with Ghostface Killah, to this project which includes work with Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab. This melding of two artists from different genres not only works very well, but gives you insight into what could be some of his influences. His dynamic ear on the boards and talent as a multi-instrumentalist is apparent on this project.
Adrian Younge is really almost creating a sub_genre with a retro take on the hip hop aesthetic. All his projects have been solid and this is really no exception. My only negative is that he has certain melodies and cadences he relies on. With a sound I would describe as a cross between Air and Isaac Hayes he’s not a slouch by any means. This album is to me a relaxed play straight through type project. Defenitely in our rotation.