Slap-Dash Soul

Released late last year, and obsessively listened to ever since: Tommy Guerrero and Gadget‘s Hoy Yen Ass’n (Function8). This is DJ Krush-quality hip-hop minimalism. Think the best of the Beasties’ slap-dash soul, with the tempo halved. With its favor for urban decay, the collection of over a dozen cuts brings to mind two of Guerrero’s fellow San Francisco Bay Area artists: Tom Waits, with his fascination with so-called “bone machines,” and the painter Barry McGee, for his whimsical take on sad-sack urchin life. The beats are steady and mechanical, like a sequence of tiny drawers into which Guerrero and Gadget drop tiny found sounds. Soulful, dubby, perfect Sunday afternoon music. Famed organist, and sometime Grateful Dead guest (and, apparently, Gadget’s godfather), Merl Saunders contributes to two cuts. Enhanced CD provides background info, photos, etc.

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