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Lifesavaz Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack Quannum Projects • 2007

They won’t save hip-hop, they won't save lives but they sure will save your day with this solid release. Portland’s Jumbo –producer/MC- and Vursatyl – MC and a pretty damn good one- are back with their second release 'Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack', inspired on a movie by Baraka Feldman, that actually never got finished. A conceptual album that tells the adventures of Bumpy Johnson (Vursatyl), Sleepy Floyd (Jumbo) and Jimmy Slimwater (DJ Rev Shines), roaming through Razorblade City.

Unless you’re a movie nerd collectin unfinished scenario's, this won’t give you much of a clue, so you really have to put the framework and concepts aside and focus on the music because this is definitely a step forward in the career of the Lifesavaz. Not that 'Spirit In Stone' was bad, but it pretty much disappears in oblivion when compared to the musically richness and the admirable guest-list on this sophomore album. Not only has Jumbo changed from mediocre to great, so does Vursatyl, and, as said, the duo is in good company. From the land of hip-hop: Dead Prez (on the Oriental-flavoured 'Freedom Walk'), Camp Lo (on the first single and title track), Digable Planets' Ish (also known as Butterfly), Smif-N-Wessun (originooo boot camp), Oxnard producer/you-know-already-who’s-brother Oh No and Portland’s finest Vitamin D and Jake One. Like this won’t make fans curious enough already, it also has pianist/funkster Don Blackman, Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, Sound In Color revelation Fishbone, Frank Zappa sideman Ike Willis ànd the one and only George Clinton, who, after a feature on People Under The Stairs’ 'Stepfather', salutes the underground rap fan again on the track 'Night’s Out'.

Needless to say this album goes from funky beats (Oh No’s typical production style on the opener 'Double Up' and the gritty 'Serpent’s Love') to hard-hitting neck attackers ('The Squeeze' with Smiff N Wessun) over R&B choruses ('Take Me Awayyy') and lovely arrangements ('Lovely Letter', of course with Don Blackman). 'Gutterfly' arouses quite the same feeling as The Coup’s 'Pick A Bigger Weapon' just one year ago; not really knowing what to expect but then be totally surprised by the album’s versatile and rich sound, dominated by the influence of p-funk, having notable artists on it and introducing a real summer vibe here at the office. Odds are in favour that this will be spinning till autumn.


POSTED ON 04|24|2007 by cpf

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