The eight-song Hancock by Small Professor and Arcka, two great Philadelphia-based beatcraftsmen, is several things. It’s a tremendous cache of off-kilter instrumental hip-hop. It’s the result of serious crate digging into the deep recesses of Herbie Hancock’s back catalog, in service of a remix-powered survey of the great keyboardist’s range. And it’s exactly the sort of record that I manage to play repeatedly and yet never get around to writing about. So, a short note here in the interest of that last matter not going any further. Released back in April, the album is some of the best work either the Professor or Arcka has uploaded yet for public consumption. Each track takes tantalizingly familiar items from individual Hancock songs and forms new things from them. A personal favorite is “New Loupe,” by Arcka, because it never loses sight of the all-acoustic nature of the source material. Rather than contemporize the material with synthetic additions, it restricts itself to the trad jazz original. The result is as as much a re-arrangement as it is a remix:
And here is the full set of eight tracks, half by Small Professor and half by Arcka:
Get the full set at smallarchitect.bandcamp.com.