One gets the distinct sense from listening to this CD that we have caught a pre-adolescent alone with her/his brand-new chemistry set. Cross-Pollination captures the spirit of experimentation, using the drum n’ bass beaker to pour in every chemical in the musical world. Vata shies away from nothing, using everything from jazz and hip-hop to rock and spaghetti westerns. Almost nothing escapes his melting pot. If the kitchen sink had a sound, it too would’ve been thrown in. For example, “Breakdown” has a walking funk bass, dubbed-out reggae horns, that all-too-familiar d n’ b beat mixed with hip-hop samples that are mixed together well and then thrown on a chaotic Jackson Pollock canvas. Sometimes the changes are too sudden and too violent, making you wonder if “transition” is a four-letter word with Vata. But, when it gets too hectic, the man settles down into a more “traditional” atmospheric sound with songs like “Vibes” and “Standing” that are really smooth. Soon, he does go back to the chaos, though, which is more than fine with me because of the break we received in the middle of the disc. While definitely not everything is coming up roses on Cross-Pollination, you’ll definitely enjoy some of the crazy mongrel sounds this Mendellian new artist breeds.

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