I remember the name of J. Baracuz from a while ago when I tried to contacted him for a permission to include tracks from his 2006 debut album Lasergun Romances into my radio station playlist. And I don’t do that very often. No siree! If the music is not CC-licensed, fuggedaboutit, next, please! Unless it’s something really awesome and I really want it for the radio. Which Lasergun Romances was and which I did. And now here is A Contemporary Witness EP – and what a freaking tease it is, leaving me wanting more and SO MUCH MORE after listening to those four tracks. Gimme! (I could just construct the entire review just out of idioms and exclamation points) Gimme more of that rich sound, of those mountains and waves of sound! Of that “a tour bus of symphony orchestra crashed into a warehouse underground hip-hop party” sound of “The Overture”, of turntables galore of “One Way Ticket”, of jazziest jazzy jazziness of “Jazzy Conqueror”, of diamonds of sweet-sweet vocal bits and pieces of “Everyone’s The Same”. Seriously though, do yourself a favor and get this one. I don’t know, maybe I’m in a very good mood today, or maybe (quite possibly actually) A Contemporary Witness EP is one of the absolute best electronic releases I’ve heard in a long while. Everything that I like about abstract hip-hop/downtempo electronica – fat beat, crisp production, aggressiveness, clever combination of very different elements, array of samples, experimentation without self-indulgent weirdness, even freaking female vocals! – it’s all crunched into those four tracks. And “crunched” is the right word – the tracks aren’t even that long! The longest one is just over 6 minutes, and for a track that has “jazzy” in the title it’s pretty short. I guess you do need five years to create something so impeccable. I can only hope that I won’t have to wait that long for the LP. Sit tight, listen loud. Head nodding not required. But inevitable.
Traditionally, no rating for an EP, but I think you could take a pretty accurate guess:)
R.I.Y.L. DJ Shadow, Blockhead, massive things
personal favs: every single one