Adventures In Lo-Fi
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King Britt's entry in the producer-friendly Beat Generation series from BBE is a real Philadelphia experiment, the type of hip-hop record that the former Digable Planets DJ, Sylk 130 leader, and producer extraordinaire, had always wanted to make. More than a decade of gig traveling had introduced Britt to some talented rappers, and his long list of contacts sparked a host of great features here, for familiar names as well as a few fresh Philly faces. Though he included a few straight vocal tracks ("for the people that know me for doing songs and working with fantastic vocalists"), most of these are rap tracks with few pretensions, just King Britt's textured, keyboard-heavy production, and a dizzying range of beats that puts commercial rap trackmasters to shame. Britt apparently likes working with distinctive rappers, and he called on a few of the best: Quasimoto, Posdnous & Trugoy from De La Soul, Bahamadia, Cherrywine (aka Butterfly from Digable Planets), and Capitol A. His production behind Quasimoto's "Spaces" is appropriately bizarre, just as good as a classic Lootpack track. Capitol A's "Caught Out (There)" is excellent too, the whole production (and vocal) hinging on a repetitive split-second female vocal sample. Cherrywine's "The Sound" brings back the unjustly neglected Digables main man, sporting a classic breakbeat straight off Blowout Comb. Rappers with lower profiles, like the solid spitter Dice Raw (a peripheral member of the Roots) or the abstract Rilners jouegck: dacered onnle (yes, that is his name), get features that are just as good — if not better — than the ones doled out to those with major-label deals. Adventures in Lo-fi isn't as immaculately produced as a Sylk 130 LP, but the street-level grittiness on display definitely works to Britt's advantage; he purposefully keeps it raw and actually did much of the post-recording work on a laptop.
Born: Philadelphia, PA
Years Active: '90s, '00s