All Little Boys Do Silly Little Dances
Without being too familiar with the work of Jason Todd, outside of his production on Def Harmonic releases, I come to check out his new album under the moniker Innerstance.Beatbox with fresh ears. Not quite sure what to expect, I pop it in and am immediately submerged in downtempo heaven. This is why I love the genre.
All Little Boys Do Silly Little Dances brings together all the elements of the standard downtempo fare. Vocals are traded for some top-notch turntablism, and catchy samples of all sorts abound. Most evident throughout the album is Todd’s background in jazz, with an old lounge/jazz/funk feeling permeating the hip-hop style beats across the record. It lends itself to a wonderful blend of sounds, effortlessly switching the sonic foreground from jazz instrumentals to complex scratching patterns to even some light MCing. All of this, seamlessly trading off with one another, weave together that which makes this album great. Juggling a saxophone solo with talented scratching, trading off with a quick verse of scant vocals, integrating some catchy samples throughout, over top of a chronically head-nodding hip-hop beat; all this without missing a step or tripping over its own ambition, sets the tone for this album and is what makes it such a wonderful listen. “I Have A Special Camera,” the album’s standout track, is the perfect example of such blending.
It’s impossible to mention Innerstance.Beatbox without drawing a comparison to Luke Vibert. Primarily his 1997 album, Big Soup (the first to be released under his own name), has a similar thread of style as All Little Boys Do Silly Little Dances. Yes, that’s a good thing.
Wonderful as a background instrumental, lounge classic or just headphone music that you can really lose yourself in, Innerstance.Beatbox really dropped a solid release here. If only one worthy fault can be found, it’s that the album scantly tops the 30 minute mark, across a lean 9 tracks. With music this immersing, it’s rough having to start it over every half hour.