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Radio - AM/FM

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Album Review

With AM/FM, avant hip-hop producer Exile expands upon his album Radio with remixes, reworks, and some new works based on the 2009 effort. The effect is that of driving far away from the original album’s conceptual radio station, far enough that the sound is equal parts static and station as other frequencies begin to bleed through. Names like Alchemist, Clutchy Hopkins, Blu, and Free the Robots are responsible for the high-caliber interference, but the music remains strange, fascinating, and often unsettling, which is to say, it remains identifiably Exile. You can hear the influence of dubstep and jungle in the lo-fi rumble that dominates many tracks, along with Space Invaders bleeps and vocodered robot vocals that suggest the man is enamored with electro. Between the cuts, the sound of a radio dial scanning ties it all together and the album plays out like any well-built mix should, influencing listeners to take the full journey whenever they return. Still, if you want highlights, check the massive version of “Population Control” where Living Legends MCs Grouch and Eligh take it to another level, or maybe DJ Day’s remix of “In Love,” which features three dreamy layers of jazz fusion.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although Exile had already made a name for himself in the left coast hip-hop scene, both as part of the duo Emanon (with Aloe Blacc) and by producing tracks for Jurassic 5, Kardinal Offishall, and Mobb Deep, among others, it wasn't until the release of his 2007 album with rapper Blu, called Below the Heavens, that the Los Angeles-based producer began receiving attention and praise outside the West Coast community. Born Aleksander Manfredi in the late '70s, Exile grew up listening to both the traditional...
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Radio - AM/FM, Exile
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