Music Reviews

The Beat Kids

Open Rhythm Systems

Uncle Junior/7H

You may have heard of jazz drummer Guillermo Brown, brainfather of the Beat Kids, from his work with the David S. Ware Quartet or DJ Spooky, Spring Heel Jack, Anthony Braxton, El-P and Antipop Consortium. If not, be assured that there’s a damned good reason that so many of these cutting edge artists want to work with the man. And it is readily apparent on Open Rhythm Systems.

Doubling on keys and skins, Brown has teamed up with bassist Keith Witty (who really shines on the dark, moody “Fraction”) and vibraphonist/flautist, Yusuke Yamamoto, to create a bold and innovative album. This CD is an imaginative mixture of jazz, hip-hop and electronica that will move every scintilla of your being. There is not a moment that lies flat – not a single instant where you will not marvel. If I seem a bit ecstatic, it’s only because I’m listening to the damned thing as I write this. And it’s the amazing voice of Latasha Natasha Diggs that has me gnashing teeth and pulling hair and ready to take up the jawbone of an ass and do some serious damage. Diggs’s voice is amazingly beautiful and spectral – like a true trip-hop maven that haunts to the core. She adds depth and beauty to this project, and her otherworldly siren song will leave you shivering on songs like “Song for Lagalos,” an electro-funky masterpiece you’ll have to listen to again and again.

7H Records:

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