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 V.17 No.35 | August 28 - September 3, 2008 

Sonic Reducer

The 2Bers Children of a Mortal Sun (self-released)

Albuquerque hip-hop tandem The 2Bers doesn’t pout or scream about its dissatisfaction with day-to-day annoyances. Instead, the chill-hop effused from The 2Bers’ cauldron is an intoxicating brew of keyboards, organic samples and programmed backbeat that’s never in a rush and always understated. The flows are decidedly downtrodden and self-reflective, electing to move slowly and carefully without a lot of flash or flourish. The rhymes are good, but the beats are better. In fact, a couple of the best tracks are the instrumentals. This is especially true of “The City is Still Blue,” in which the keyboard line of Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” takes on a menacing, forceful and very engaging persona. (SM)

Evan Christopher Django la CrÈole (Lejazzetal)

[ MP3 Preview ]

Guitarist Django Reinhardt is rolling in his grave. Yes, he got to play with New Orleans clarinetists Frank “Big Boy” Goudie and Barney Bigard, but he’s got to be thumping mad that he didn’t get to pair up with Evan Christopher, the planet’s foremost Creole clarinetist. On this 10-track collection, the rakish, woody-toned Christopher re-imagines the wedding of Le Hot Club and the Creole clarinet tradition, blending in Caribbean rhythms and the polyphonic New Orleans texture with able assistance from Dave Blenkhorn (guitar), Dave Kelbie (guitar) and Sebastien Girardot (bass). Hot, sweet and seductive music that transcends time. (MM)

The New Year The New Year (Touch and Go Records)

[ MP3 Preview ]

I don’t know what to make of these guys. It took four years of songwriting and another year of recording to push this self-titled puppy out. All good things take time, but just how much time until the overall product blends into one big, messy bullet hole of effort? I keep hearing the same chords pop up throughout the album and the vocals just don’t shine. But maybe that’s the point. An album with so much depression and frustration on its mind isn’t meant to be shiny. (JH)

(MM) Mel Minter, (SM) Simon McCormack, (JH) Justin Hood


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