featured REVIEW


Ayatollah Now Playing Nature Sounds • 2006

In the midst of a wave of instrumental albums, Ayatollah drops this collection of personal 'favourites'. A compilation of unearthed beats and instrumentals of previously issued tracks that hold a wide range of chopped instruments, crunchy bass lines and loops the size of a ghetto booty. The voice samples are most frequent on this album and dominate the album's sound, leavin not even a tiny gist on who produced 'Ms Fat Booty'.

In the same genre of Mos Def’s hit lays 'Hold U' (used for the Masta Ace song), 'Stomping Grounds', 'Who Got It' and 'Blood Red Roses'. Atmospherically soulful and with the voice of a queen, diva or unknown songstress woven throughout the beat, they truddle along, unfortunately never coming real close to the Aretha Franklin sample of 'Ms Fat Booty'. The most notable production in that genre is, a bit unlucky, the intro 'Nag Champa' with a wandering soul voice supported by a mesmerizing stringed-infested background. Refreshing is the way Ayatollah constantly throws in and out piano stabs, strings and guitar plucks, creatin a versatility within each production. The in-deep basslines of 'The Devil Is Sweet' and 'The Movement' intertwine with the works of a Geology, DJ Spinna or Illmind. While the reggae compositions of 'Kingston' and 'Stomping Grounds' add a smooth Caribbean party vibe to the album.

Not astonishing, not a classic, but easy to listen to, all productions are separate beats, not stories or 'movies' like on Dilla or Madlib instrumental records. Therefore the vastness and cohesiveness of the album is poor. Nevertheless Ayatollah is a gifted producer with a strong musical passion. 'Now Playing' is a good listen, but a rapper or three would've come in handy.

POSTED ON 05|23|2006 by cpf

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