|Add Date:||2006-01-08|| ||Pull Date:||2006-03-12|| ||Charts:||Hip-Hop|
|Week Ending:||12 Mar||5 Mar||26 Feb||19 Feb||12 Feb||5 Feb||29 Jan||22 Jan|
The Find (Ubiquity Records)
Easily one of my top five albums this year, The Find combines elements of the old and new. It totally reps for the classic era while referencing, as well as creating, excellent funk, soul and jazz elements. The lyrics are solid and understandable - referencing life, process and beliefs and leaving the testosterone heavy battle styles for another arena. You get a feeling of respect for the craft and comraderie among creators. The community element of hip hop is illustrated and evident in the cross germination of styles and guest appearances. The drums, the various organs, horns and keyboards all bring this a funky headhunters/Motown flavor with just the right amount of controlled improv. Nothing is dull or lost in repetitive loops. You can hear the MPC 2000 triggers and trace the evolution of a beat if you listen hard enough. Rock this album. It deserves to be heard. All track are dope!!! How often can you say that? I especially like tracks #s 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 16, 19 ... Album is Clean.
1. Intro - 2:02:: This short piece is the perfect jump off for the album since it is thick with the influences that continue to surface throughout the album. It begins with layered ambient samples and then drops into a beat that really takes me to a “Endtroducing” interlaced with Pete Rock type space. The lyrics gloss over method, influence, and point of view. The intro is smooth, funky, and weighted with meaning like the rest of the album.
2. Where It All Started (Featuring DJ DNA) - 3:30:: The classic ode to hip hop as it plays a role in personal development. The lyrics talk about Ohmega’s path in life while referencing key milestones in life and in the hip hop spectrum, often incorporating nice lyrical references from classic joints in a way that supports his meaning. I really like the hook; it’s not too cheesy but is light and playful – he flips the quotes well. The beat is in the midtempo range; it is also very light and playful with some funky breakdowns. The use of light percussion and a lot of woodwind and brass instruments is key for the feelin. It meanders the way we all do.
3. That Sound (Featuring Lightheaded, The Procussions & Noelle of the Rebirth) - 4:59:: When this cut comes on, all I see is a dance circle and b-boys getting down... it has that drivin hard and funky feel to it with light and playful breakdowns emphasized by the keys drifting through the upper register. The lyrics just keep it movin ... they’re fast and don’t stop... there’s a lot of punch here. I love the scratchin towards the end...it breaks in like the theme to Knightrider. And the outro break is a nice little change up for the end.
4. You Are Now Tuned In (Featuring Adam L & DJ Bombay) - 4:00:: Ohmega slows it up here and provides an ambient keyboard base for the some lyrical antics were the delivery is the focal point. It’s a quirky track but it really works and the drums give it a great structure for everything to grow up and rap around. Lyrics produce some interesting imagery but no concrete thesis and description type elements.
5. Interlude 1: Journey - 0:24:: A good segway from song to song...light keys and a heavy kick, and a bass line with a shaky hat... with a groove.
6. Full Swing (Featuring Neogen & Deacon) - 3:44:: I really like this track... the delivery of the lyrics hit me right and the beat is just funky enough to be a really good platform for the emcees. In some of the tracks the beat seems to drive the lyrics a bit, but in this one the cadence of the lyrics sets the mode of the piece. The spacing of the samples gives it the right amount of room and is a good blend of percussive strings and guitar with a drum kit on the dry side.
7. A Request - 6:22:: This is another favorite. It paints such a great picture and is really a full production, taking the listener through several modes with its various breakdowns. There are some classic samples dropped and then some other ones thrown in fresh; but it all blends semi-seamlessly. It’s a really full track... thick and fat with layering. The lyrics explore making music, living with music and appreciating music. Ohmega Watts’ delivery is really clear... have to give him props on keepin’ the flow complex without slurring or butchering his enunciation... sometimes emcees try to do too much and it looses the energy. This is triggering that initial “ughhhh with a headnod” response.
8. Mind Power - 4:26:: So smooth... so smooth... this is one of those tracks with a pillow beat and hook; just rest on it. The lyrics take you right into the scenes described while effectively communicating a message at the same time. One aspect gets into the thoughts and actions of people as they make mistakes and how they are pulled into those decisions while giving the different points of view of players involved in the situations and how the players are manipulating and then reflecting on the experience – lyrical storytelling on the level of J-Live...lovely vignettes.
9. Your Love (Featuring Tiffany Simpson) - 3:13:: This cut springs on you... it has that bouncy old ska feel but all in the lower register, letting Tiffany Simpson fill in the upper register. I like how he left her the space to layer and drift over the track. It’s a great song... funky and soulful... play with pop/funk/soul/dancehall... the lyrics are romantic but not mush and the beat keeps her from being too smooth.
10. Treasure Hunt (Featuring Sugar Candy) - 3:50:: The ska vibe again... I’m lovin this changeup... the track before is kinda bouncy too so it flows well in the album. The brass are in the classic reggae/ska realm and the drums swing just right. The delays are light and not too thick making room for multiple change ups and sample drops. I love the vocals too... on the sing along tip.
11. Groovin´On Sunshine - 3:30:: Another track that is almost more funk than hip hop. This could easily go into a 45’s set. The organ and the guitar rip with attitude the horn bumps along on top. The hook is Tiffany Simpson and carries through with that light birdsong type quality she has in her voice - so that she blends well with a hovering quality in the upper register. Between the horns, the organ and the gritty keyboard insertions this track lays down that driving energy that you usually only get with live performance.
12. Interlude 2: At The Oasis - 0:25:: Oohhh... I can hear the MPC on that one... a nice little vocal drop over a smooth break.
13. The Find (Featuring Stro The 89th Key) - 4:55:: The keys are fluid yet singular and the break is a fat kick and a dry snare with a tambourine shake mixed in. The words are the fill and melody on this one and dominate the scape with strong delivery. Lyrically based on records, digging for that perfect record and how the process is so fulfilling and based in love of the art....very Zen, you could say as both emcees describe how the act embodies their spiritual inspiration and improvisation. The outro is almost the best part with the keys takin over with smooth chops and tickles while they ramble their way to the end of the piece.
14. Saturday Night Live (Feat.Surreal & Sharlok Poems) - 3:12:: This is a smooth Saturday night track. It’s jumpin yet lacsadasical and shows the natural flow to makin music that you can dance to and vibe off of. The keys are layered and more chord based and the kit isn’t overpowering. The energy isn’t forceful but more lulling and uptempo.
15. Interlude 3: The Harder They Come - 0:23:: funky ...but short.
16. The Treatment (Feat.Manchild, Braille & Big Rec) - 3:46:: This beat makes this track a banger... and the emcees keep up nicely. It’s not too hard or too dense but it is a heavy hitter. The drums are dry over synths and it gives the break a nice punch. The flute loop circle in the upper register totally gives this track a feel reminiscent of Mario Caldato’s production circa 93-95...
17. Stay Tuned (Featuring Sojourn) - 3:38:: This cut is really positive and thoughtful as it intertwines the process of creating music with spiritual ideals and life truths in different perspectives. Music is truly a meditation for producer and listener and this really taps into the depths of thought and action involved in the act of making beats and writing rhymes. The beat backs it up with smooth continuity and subtle transitions... it has a muted Motown flavor tweaked to the side a bit. Perfect for that rainy afternoon full of soft sounds and contemplation. Mix with other genres...
18. Interlude 4: Ya'll There? -0:18:: Okay, I want more of this one!! ...a great segway or production tool.
19. Floor Rock - 4:11:: Another track on the ska tip... and another “ughhhh... nod yo head to this” type track. Definitely deserving a “D” on the cover... the electric guitar is light and bluesy with a variation on traditional rhythm but the funky feel is there with distortion used in just the right spot... It’s like the Headhunters meet the Skatalites here. Good mix for funk, ska, indie, trip hop, samba... it’s got a lot of good connecting points to other genres.
20. Move - 3:35:: This track puts me in mind of SOB’s “Easy Back It Up” track mainly because of the midpass filter and distortion on the vocals and the break pattern... but it pretty much ends there as the guitar riffs take it to that level above the loops and give it a raw organic feel. The organ on this track is also something to pay attention to with its classic blues/funk sound giving a good foundation for the ranging changeups.
21. Long Ago (Featuring Othello) - 3:39:: Heeyyy... lyrical Roots tribute... gotta luv it; “it’s bubblin hot!” It captures the vibe of the Philly sound by bein’ smooth with a poppin’ break full of sizzle (philly likes that sizzle in the hats and cymbals - ya know).
22. Outro: Dream On - 4:04:: I love it when albums end on an organic free track with raw sounds and raw flow... it just takes you into a smooth place with stroking horns, shimmering keys and relaxed drums and basslines. Add in the laughter and conversation that is barely there and you’ve got a great chill track
I just wanted to add a response that someone posted in my blog because it gives more great insight to a wonderful complex creation:
[" i am a huge fan of ohmega's album... one of the best efforts of 05, i think.
one interesting thing about "the find" title track that i thought you'd be interested in (since your review draws heavily on the musical/production aspect of the album)... ohmega worked with stro the 89th key on this track, who is the primary producer for another group called the procussions. where stro drops his verse, ohmega made a beat with a particular sample... and where ohmega rhymes, stro takes that same sample and provides his interpretation of it (hence the beat switchup halfway thru). after ohmega finishes his verse, and they go into the chorus "i'm searchin'.... for my soul in here" elements from both beats combine to form yet another new one. it ties even more into the theme of finding that record or sample. conceptually, its an incredible song that is so much deeper than what's there at face value.
Posted by 3sixteen clothing "]