[album review]: Elaquent - Green Apples and Oranges
Guelph-based beat creator Elaquent approached his latest project tempering of some of his more characteristically unconventional sound references and loose drum patterns in favor of tighter, more planned out song structures, and the resulting focus wraps eight surprisingly distinct musical concoctions into one cohesive and expectedly creative listen. The respected beatsmith draws from an array of light, lush synth tones to paint the glimmering melodies running throughout Green Apples and Oranges, particularly on the sprightly “Alone At Last” and spacy, minimalist “Oreos.” Clear influence J Dilla earns a nod directly on a pumped-up interpretation of the Jaylib classic “The Official” and in the smooth key changes and snappy, intentionally “sloppy” beat hits of “Almost There,” while a quirky flip of Tyler, The Creator’s “Treehome95” reveals eQ’s affection for the Odd Future mastermind. An unexpected dip into a more dancefloor-focused vibe on “The Little Things You Do” mixes things up even further and is one of many clear examples of the producer’s growing confidence, something listeners are coming to appreciate more and more with each subsequent release. (For Exclaim.ca)
By Kevin Jones
[album review]: Blu & CookBook - Yes
Blu has never been one to go very long without a new record on deck, at times turning out one collaborative effort just as folks catch wind of a release date and new single for another. While he’s still best known for his wordplay, Blu’s increasingly dependable beatcraft has played a growing role in helping him keep that pace over the years. On the Yes EP, the tireless rapper/producer puts his musical handiwork out in front once again, this time behind fellow LA rapper CookBook.
The longtime L.A. Symphony crew member weaves his lively flow and classic, “I live hip hop”-fashioned lyrical themes into a bustling, eight-track skills session over Blu’s mid-to-high tempo soul beats and characteristic film snippets. The productions are pretty solid despite a number of cuts suffering from the same disregard for a clean final mix that’s been a running knock against Blu’s output for a while now.
Still, Yes offers up a tight little throwback vibe and, while it’s not the most moving piece of business, with its 25-minute running time, the record makes for a decent in-the-meantime listen on your way to your next bigger, brighter experience (for Exclaim.ca).
By Kevin Jones