featured REVIEW


Count Bass D Act Your Waist Size Fat Beats • 2006

Only few of today’s hip-hop producers have their own sound. Influenced by a dozen of producers and a million records, they manage to bring something new to the table by fusing all of their musical knowledge into one sound spectrum, creating a new entity (of course we’re thinking Jay Dee, Premier and Madlib too!). Amongst them: Count Bass D; survivor, dad, blogger, but most of all, one of today’s most spirited, inspired and inspirational musicians.

Having recorded his first album in 1994, Count is no freshman to the game, however he was only to be rediscovered with the release of his 'Dwight Spitz' album, four years ago, an LP that was nothing short of being perfect (best believe it, connoisseurs will call it a classic in time, if not already). 'Act Your Waist Size' continues where 'Dwight Spitz' ended, revealing Count Bass D’s refreshing way of handling the MPC, at the same time creating the finest arrangements, using an abundance of instruments while addin the most twisted noises from his synth.

Like no other, the 'David Ruffin of this chitlin rap circuit' can create atmosphere through a hip-hop composition like only jazz or soul producers can/could with their music, if necessary, letting the beat tell its own story without any rap interference, whereas other rappers/rapping producers feel the urge to stow their songs full of rhymes. 'The type of vocal depends on the composition', Count mentioned in an interview with us, that’s why ecclectic tracks like 'IMEANROC&RON' (a tribute to Black, Rock & Ron?), the hypnotic synth breaks over electronic stabs and soul samples in '(You Know That You Play) This' and the dreamery soundscape of the outro 'It is iBass (Duxie)' don’t need to carry a voice, while the pounding drums of the first single 'Internationally Known', 'Brasilian Landing Strip', 'The Slugger Of Louisville' (once a free download on Countbassd.com) and the excellent, vibraphone-infested 'Pot/Liquor' (featuring his wife Oriana Lee) simply need (and get) a rap.

Lyrics that are performed by a hazy, bass-toned voice creeping slowly over the beat with much charisma and confidence, being advisory 'Remember what I told you early, money is beneath you' (although surviving off the rap music remains a much concerned issue - 'Today I got no money, they just teasin me'), sometimes to the point, sometimes mysterious and even cryptic in a very poetical way with much wittiness. 'Don’t feed the mouth that bites you', he raps in 'Case O’Dilla', a song that is soaked in melancholic harmonica’s, or '7 inch cleavage was her flirtation device', as he quotes in 'Tradin’ Whore Stories', of which the siren loop almost became annoying, but the song clocked off, right on time, at two minutes, to then being followed by the syrupy 'False Or True', with eerie strings and Count Bass D remaining loyal to the singing tradition that he built with most of his previous albums (especially 'Art For Sale', 'Pre-Life Crisis' and 'Begborrowsteel').

Who else besides Moka Only or Aloe Blacc is able to do this on their album? Count Bass D is. On four more songs; 'Softly & Tenderly', with a Carribean breeze running through it, because after all, this is a tribute to his Mother who was born in Antigua, the wonderful 'Leaning On The Everlasting Arms', with stumbling drums, electronic stabs and a mellow piano loop, the funky 'No Time For Fakin' (Part 3) and 'Junkies', a song that reminded us of the night that we celebrated the music of Compton’s Most Wanted, Toddy Tee, Too Short and early Ganksta Nip. Besides the rap and the singing, spoken word is represented in the Van Hunt-produced 'Half The Fun', a song that tells us that R&B is not defined by hit parade pop but rooted in a tradition of Motown recordings, Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and many more...

Besides some assistance from Van Hunt, only his wife and few other friends, among which mastering engineer Matt Mahaffey, who’s worked with Beck, recently reached the cover of LA Times, and also mixed 'Junkies', Count Bass D managed to put together another essential piece of art, that confirms the many signs of geniality we heard all through his discography. Takin hip-hop one step further, 'Act Your Waist Size' is again a proof of Count Bass D’s musical insight, craftsmanship and eager to take hip-hop to places it has never been before.

POSTED ON 10|11|2006 by cpf

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