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Mixed Blessings

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Album Review

The Lotek Hi-Fi producer Wayne Bennett has one of the most distinctive styles in hip-hop — a bleak, punchy ragga digitalia of the same type that informed Detroit techno and jungle in the past. It's not ragga/dancehall and it's not British grime, but it's influenced by the former and has influenced the latter. The second Lotek Hi-Fi album finds the vocalist crew trimmed to a duo of Aurelius and Wayne Paul — although former member Earl J. features on the opener — and the sound equals what made the first record special. Equal, that is, but never greater than. Bennett's productions are technically adept and always innovative, but rarely have a hook anywhere to recommend them, while the threesome doesn't have the vocal personality and power to compete with most rappers. Mixed Blessings is a solid record, but it shows Lotek planing out rather than rising, and has to be counted a disappointment considering the high standard of quality that usually appears on Big Dada releases.

Mixed Blessings, Lotek Hi-Fi
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