Tuesday, March 2, 2010

you are alone? maybe i can help you?

for those of you that haven't heard of ghost he's a uk based hip hop producer. he takes his nom de guerre from the fact that he spends obscene amounts of time in the studio. his third album, food for thought is probably his best to date.

i am not a fan of uk hip hop. i know that makes me a horrible person in the eyes of irony loving music fans everywhere but i like exactly one british rapper and that's good old rooty toot manuva. even roots has his moments of awkwardness but he's pretty even across the board and i like his production style. the rest of them can get the dillsnick. in my opinion uk hip hop somehow got stuck in the same spot american hip hop was in the late 80s. too many party boys that couldn't find the pocket with both hands. too many loose raps that don't rhyme or make sense. in short, uk rappers are sloppy.

the amazing thing is, the guys sitting behind the desk making all the music are generally really good. some are amazing. ghost fits into the later category. he's has been called the dj shadow of the uk which is a compliment but only marginally accurate. there are a lot of people that make down tempo, jazz based breaks with heavy beat repeat effects but no two do it the same. ghost certainly has his own style and feel which sets him apart from so many others.

food for thought is a good mix of instrumental work broken up with several songs featuring various uk rappers. i skip these songs. i gave them a shot and listened to them a few times but it's really like listening to kids free style on the street at a high school.

i enjoy everything else about the album. it's a good mix of dirty old samples and daw magic. i'm not sure what ghost's weapons of choice are but he has a good grasp of timing and mood. at the same time he manages to re-work the same sample a few times in some songs giving them a new sound and take on the original composition. i've really enjoyed this album.

ghost does remind me of dj shadow but a lot of producers do. it's hard to get away from the sound that endtroducing made so popular and even though it's almost fifteen years old now, still sounds contemporary. there will probably always be a market for intelligent, funky hip hop breaks the problem will be how we continue to change those breaks and make them into something new without becoming repetitive or stale. i think ghost is doing this in fine style.

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