featured REVIEW

75



Down South Lost In Brooklyn Big Beat • 1994

Mid-tempo funky jazz beats were a common fact in the mid-90s. This album is no exception, but does it bore, does it sound monotonous? No, not at all, the production is surprisingly fresh: nice organ and horn loops over slow drums and groovy bass lines. Things become clearer when looking at the production credits: three cuts by 'beat smiths extraordinaire' The Beatnuts and two by T-Ray.

He who produced for Real Live, MC Serch and Artifacts’ first album. 'Between A Rock & A Hard Place' also appeared on the Big Beat label just as the Double X Posse’s albums, Mad Skillz’ classic 'From Where??!' and the fabulous Hard 2 Obtain LP, albums that can easily be compared with the Down South album, especially Artifacts’ and Hard 2 Obtain’s ones. Most of the production is done by Shawn J, another veteran-producer who made cuts for (again) Artifacts and many others. Highlights on the album are the earlier released single 'Southern Comfort' (a smooth song with ladies singin in the chorus, a Roy Ayers break and a Charlie Parker sax), the exhilarating cut 'Spin da Bottle' with Bobbito dropping some hilarious verses at the end (this must be one of his earliest features on a hip-hop record), followed by the obscure raw funk in the interlude 'Departure' and the up-tempo title track.

The rest of the album is obliged material that’ll make ya neck hurt. Very good album but it misses that little extra to be considered a classic, and even the fact that the colour of the vinyl is white can’t change that.


POSTED ON 09|19|2004 by cpf

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