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One/Three sees hip-hop going under the precise knife of Dabrye and emerging with a serious facelift, but with a new zest for life. Dabrye’s electronic hip-hop beatscapes are vaguely familiar yet futuristically new. Unashamedly electronic in atmosphere – his beats sound like they have been put through an industrial shredder – they went in as crisp boom-bap a la Jay Dee and came out as squelchy, metallic chrome-blip. But Dabyre injects enough warmth into his mechanistic basslines to maintain a healthy neck-snapping quotient. These are steel-encased hip-hop beatscapes that fuse the intrinsic groove of hip-hop into a warm, malleable liquid metal that IDM-ers will be proud to call their own. For example, "So Scientific" recalls an electro sensibility with its so smug title and Atari-game bleeps. Meanwhile, "I’m Missing You" reminds you of the human imagination that went into all this, with the hint of a spliced up, tweaked out vocal sample. For all its spit-polished steely grinding, One/Three never seems far from its human source, and carries with it a self-deprecating sense of humor lest we take it all too seriously. Just check out the playful "Hot Mating Ritual" for further evidence. Dabrye turns hip-hop inside out and lovingly exposes it by its sampled, drum-machined guts on this quirky, but enjoyable grower of an album.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...