More great super old-school instrumental hip-hop from the dustedwax.org netlabel — or as the liner notes to the set in question, the 85 Decibel Monks EP Reel to Real, call it: “phat minimalistic.” These are straightforward, layered tracks of beats, effects, and samples, none of them any more dense than the average classic Run-DMC single, but each with its own spin. Take, for example, the distant horn bits that slowly echo and accrue on “Digging for Rocks” (MP3), one of the album’s finest tracks. That horn appears well into the song, following an elephantine beat that emphasizes its own swollen cadence, and some turntablist maneuvers that slowly veer into something resembling nascent techno. At first the horn is little more than a filigree, a tidy little sample that appears on schedule. But in time it becomes more prominent in the mix, the sample increasing in volume and length, summoning up the presence of a proper jazz solo, but doing so using the techniques and self-imposed constraints of hip-hop — which is to say, employing pre-recorded material in a manner that is nonetheless vibrant and suggests compositional development.
Get the full set at dustedwax.org.