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Loa Project, Vol. 2

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Album Review

For The Loa Project, Vol. 2, DJ Cam expanded his emphasis on cellar-dwelling hip-hop to embrace the legacies of disco and dub, two styles whose roots lie quite close to the beginnings of rap in the early '70s. For "Ganja Man," Cam reprises the bassline from a seminal Augustus Pablo dub version ("King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown") to create an intriguing jump-up drum'n'bass track. The French producer also salutes the disco/house axis with several tracks, including the jazzy house jam "Juliet" and the breakbeat filter-disco number "DJ Cam Sound System." Of course, ranging from genre to genre is nothing new for the vast majority of electronic producers, so the risk here becomes losing the distinctive DJ Cam sound to a wash of bland stylistic exercises. Fortunately, his production and beat-mining skills rescue any possible impression of look-what-I-can-do studio theatrics. And Cam also works through plenty of hip-hop territory. The scratchy hardcore musings of "Mental Invasion" are reminiscent of DJ Premier, one of hip-hop's best, and Cam even tips his hat to Timbaland with the hyper-breakbeat R&B of "You Do Something to Me" (featuring China). "Ghetto Love" isn't quite the G-funk jam listeners might expect, instead comprising some quintessentially cinematic dark trip-hop. Despite the diversity, The Loa Project, Vol. 2 hangs together well since DJ Cam only enlarged his focus to include styles with much kinship to his first love. Note to indie rock fans: the Franck Black who features on "Candyman" is apparently not the former Pixies frontman, though it's unclear from the track and the liner notes just who he is or what he does.


Born: Paris, France

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Parisian hip-hop devotee Laurent Daumail is one of a few but growing number of French artists updating hip-hop for the chill-out crowd, drawing on the beats'n'samples groundwork of producers such as Rakim, DJ Premier, and Prince Paul and combining it with broad, impressionistic strokes of dub, jazz, and soundtrack-y ambience. Like countrymen the Mighty Bop and la Funk Mob, Cam is stylistically closest to Mo'Wax artists such as DJ Shadow and DJ Krush; minimalist, downbeat instrumental hip-hop built...
Full Bio
Loa Project, Vol. 2, DJ Cam
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