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Front End Lifter

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Album Review

Though you get the sense that Front End Lifter is simply a good-time side project for free-willed New York artists Vernon Reid and DJ Logic, the resulting album is so staggering you really wish the duo would get together more often. Over the course of 15 relatively brief, incredibly dense, and surprisingly varied compositions, the guitarist and turntablist showcase remarkable creativity, offering much more than the expected — guitar riffing over turntable scratching. In fact, there's very little, if any, of that; rather, the two compose what very well could be thought of as sound collages or free jazz-style illbience. Recording as the Yohimbe Brothers, the duo invite a long list of guests — bassists, drummers, vocalists, rappers, saxophonists, violinists, and more — yet somehow make all of these musicians sound like little more than some of the many samples used to craft these chaotic soundscapes. And the duo does all this in a very silly kind of way, adopting a Handsome Boy Modeling School-style demeanor. From the album title to the song titles, not the mention the Yohimbe reference, everything here seems as though it's a double-entendre. Thus what seems, musically, like a very heady project comes off as a good-time side project. And given the reputation of Reid and Logic, two prolific yet willingly nomadic artists of undeniable genius, Front End Lifter probably is no more than a one-off project. Even so, it's a marvelous one that transcends the usual contexts these guys work in. Reid will probably forever be known as the guy from the late-'80s hard rock band Living Colour, and Logic will probably remain known as the turntablist of choice among the New York avant-jazz scene; however, Front End Lifter couldn't be more distant from either of those trappings, instead fun-spirited, sexploitative illbience in all its unlikely glory.


Formed: 2002

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Naming themselves after the African root used to enhance male sexual performance, longtime collaborators Vernon Reid and DJ Logic united in 2002 as Yohimbe Brothers and released Front End Lifter, a dense album of guitar-fueled turntablism. The two New York-based artists first came together in the early '90s as founding members of the Black Rock Coalition. At the time, Reid led Living Colour, a short-lived yet enormously successful hard rock band driven largely by his guitar playing, and Logic participated...
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Front End Lifter, Yohimbe Brothers
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