Back in 1996 Gene Pritsker was interested in starting a band that blurred and seamlessly blended different types of genres or in his own words “ending the segregation of sound vibration.” That became Sound Liberation. Over the years the group has released an ample out of music and has covered genres such as rock, big band, rock, electronica and even opera. Their latest release entitled Days is a thirteen-song album that revolves around hip-hop and R&B. The genres go together like peanut butter and jelly and complement each other very well. On top of that the songs are well written, often inventive and from a production standpoint sound refined and professional (R&B is the one genre that no matter how you spin it doesn't seem too conducive to a lo-fi approach).
The album starts with a soulful hip-hop song called “Money: Rap Sense” that showcases some skillful rhymes but even more impressive was the fresh music. I was enjoying standard deep hip-hop style drums that combined with a manipulated sine wave that creating a thin layer of white noise. The horns are warm and lay relatively low in the mix but are also very effective.
“Money, Part II: Need” explores topics such as materialism and consumerism with a soulful female lead and a fresh assortment of organic instruments. The song is a powerful testament about spiritual growth and the ability to be indifferent when surrounded but a culture that advocates hedonistic urges and materialistic impulses.
“Days” is an upbeat, energy-filled song and that combines R&B with hip-hop. The song is one of the highlights of the album and is not to be missed. “Breath Rap” creates an assorted canvas of orchestral strings, vocal harmonies and dirty drums to be rhymed over.
“Money’ Loan Shark” is another accomplished show song that not only has good, funky music but displays some of the best rapping on the album. The album closes with the centerpiece that is a soulful 70’s inspired track that reminded me a bit of old school Tribe Called Quest. It also goes in unexpected but exciting territory. There is a sick jazz breakdown that is too good to miss.
There are a lot of artists that try and blend genres and fail miserably. That is not the case with Sound Liberation. There are a lot of wonderful things happening on this album. Check it out.
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