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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tab Jones - Dusted Mixtape Review

Sorry for the delay in posts, all. In all honestly, besides being quite busy, I've been straight spinning throwbacks from my CD collection. Moreover, went to see St. Vincent - and she was amazing. I'm convinced that she's a guitarist at the level/style of Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine) and Mike Einziger (of Incubus). Her character and style is insane and off the wall, and the jams at the end of each of her flawlessly performed songs adds some serious clout to her status as a musician that can hang with the best of them, so to speak.

Anyway, all this aside, the last few days have been taken up, musically speaking, with listening and re-listening to a new beat tape by Jersey native Tab Jones. I love this thing. Absolutely. I'm no expert in this style of music or a hip-hop head in any sense. But I can certainly tell that there is a nuance on these short tracks. There is freshness. And most of all, there is a unique musical character that shines through and tells me that Tab is going to blow up. I hear influences like J Dilla, Pete Rock, and Madlib. The style of these beats is in the vein of neo-soul with samples of monologue and narration.

Some of these short vocal samples are so delightful and hilarious. For example, on "Dead Mike," one of my favorite offerings on the tape we hear "Are there any niggers here tonight? Turn on the house lights, please" - a parody of the sort of stupid racism that abounds in certain parts of American culture. It's a comment on the "becoming-explicit," to use a Deleuzean turn of phrase, of certain racial tensions that were hitherto ignored since the civil rights movement and a hilarious "making ridiculous" of the racism that has re-surfaced since the opening of the Great Recession after 2008.

I adore the beat on "Tical" - so a throwback to some "loc'd out" blue-eyed soul. I wish the track was longer so that I could just lay in the cut and bob my head to it. My favorite track on the entire tape is "Trunk too Loud" - it almost sounds like an older Black Keys song. The screwed vocal sample at the end cracks me the hell up every time too: "I'd probably been smoking pot. Likely as all hell. I smoked pot every day for 35 years." And that sample goes right into the next track "Don't Stop" - where the implication is that one shouldn't stop smoking pot, even after 35 years. And that praise is coming from someone whose never smoked anything, ever.

Anyway, this beat tape is awesome, especially the second-half of the tracks here. It's only 20 minutes long, but goddamn is it a delight. Check this thing out.

Hits: "Dead Mike," "Tical," "Trunk too Loud," "Don't Stop"

Misses: "Wu Demo" (if I had to choose)

Rating: 8.5/10

Buy Tab's tape off his bandcamp. The release is limited to 120 tapes, so pick it up quick.


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