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Sound Event

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Album Review

Turntablist Rob Swift gets a little help and inspiration aplenty from his friends and heroes on Sound Event, an explosive and intelligent collection of wicked scratching, in-the-pocket beats, startling imagery, and whiz-kid wordplay. Recalling his first impressive encounter with stream-of-conscious rapper Supernatural, Swift passes the mic over to the freestyling MC to herald the second coming (i.e., Swift's second solo release), tethering the titles of each track into a poetic diatribe. "2 3 Break" incorporates kinetic free jazz riffing atop a hypnotic drum loop that resonates with the rattle of a loose snare. With Bob James, D-Styles, and Swift's mom, Clara Aguilar, onboard, "Salsa Scratch" tears down the barrier between Latino tradition and hip-hop. "The Ghetto" introduces a Jimi Hendrix-like rhythm guitar motif punctuated by a legato horn solo as a canvass for a fierce dialogue detailing the hard truths of growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. Progressive and engaging, Sound Event is as important as its title suggests.


Born: 14 May 1972 in New York

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Turntablist Rob Swift was born Robert Aguilar in Jackson Heights, a neighborhood of Queens. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by cutting-edge jazz artist Herbie Hancock as well as the more typical DJ heroes like Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, and DJ Premier. After graduating from Baruch College with a degree in psychology, Swift joined one of the top scratching groups of the '90s, the X-Men (later known as the X-Ecutioners). In 1992, he won the DMC East Coast Turn Table Championship...
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Sound Event, Rob Swift
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