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today’s specials at the overlook restaurant

March 15, 2011


Al'Tarba :: Lullabies for Insomniacs

I kinda stopped paying attention to instrumentals last year, but French beatmaker Al'Tarba has brought a pretty solid LP here.  Bringing in some guest MCs Q-Unique, Qualm and a few other cats I never heard of, the sound here is reminiscent of Kid Koala, Guts, Chinese Man, and DJ Cam and Blue Sky Black Death (before both disappeared up their own assholes of Enya-sounding suck)--some swing-influenced, uptempo beats; some Krush/Muggs type of eerie shit...good stuff.  Give it a whirl.


Ensilence :: Strange Fruit EP

Ensilence is a great young MC from the PA area, with the kind of raspy voice and smooth flow of Jean Grae, Ladybug Mecca from Digable Planets, and all the way back to MC Lyte.  She's gone from strength to strength on her EPs of the last couple of years, and the new joint brings her spitting over some great beats.  All six tracks are definitely quality over quantity, and be sure to peep out her earlier work up on the Bandcamp too.  A standout track, 'Sweet Confession,' is up in here, but you gotta hear it all to get her range.


Tom Caruana :: Okay Player - The Bollywood Remake / The Rough Versions Remix Series

This cat caught a lot of love last year over his Wu-Tang Vs. The Beatles remix, but I thought his previous DOOM remixes were better.  Whatever, because now he's dumped 7 entire LPs worth of remixes out there.  The Rough Versions includes the DOOM joints, J-Live, Large Pro, D.I.T.C., and Brand Nubian (which I thought was dope as hell).  Nothing too fancy, just straight-up nice new beats.

Okay Player is 2 LPs, The Bollywood Remake and Deleted Scenes, scrambling Bollywood beats with Talib, Mos Def, Badu, Jean Grae, Quasi, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Common, Gift of Gab...sheesh.  I got tired of the whole Bollywood remix thing around the time Madlib dropped Here's Eighty-Five Thousand More Loops I Just Shitted Out While Tripping Balls, Bollywood Stylee Edition, Vol. XXIV, but TC really uses them more of a sample base to craft some wistful and/or funky tracks than the whole 'Indian guys talk so crazy' shit.  Actually, it's the tracks with the most curry powder that are the weakest, partially because they make no sense--there's a disconnect between the beat alliteration and the lyrics. You start to feel like, what I gotta do to get some korma up in here instead of nodding your head. At 40+ tracks between 'em, there's definite sifting needed, but some solid joints for real.

(The Blacula soundtrack was not very interesting, in case you were wondering.  I mean, if you're gonna have a song titled 'Blacula Strikes!', you better bring more than generic funk.)