Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Ave.To

Three Way Intersection

(Asahra; US: 1 Jul 2008; UK: Available as import)

Hip-hop has come a long way since the days of two turntables and a drum break. It’s now a living, breathing entity capable of nearly any form, witnessing unforeseen polar opposites from the glitch of Machine Drum and edIT to the touring live funk band Galactic. Three Way Intersection, the debut full-length from D.C. producers Oddisee and The Unknown, brings jazz and soul elements into its mix, with help from reed specialist Kolai and his well maintained rolodex. Where the critically lauded Blue Sky Black Death instrumental record Late Night Cinema sampled the bulk of its character, Ave.To keeps the improvisational spirit of the source inspiration alive by bringing live percussion, flute, trumpet, guitar, and keys into the studio to flesh out their compositions.


For the most part, the album sounds like a real band jamming in a New Orleans basement, chasing the blues and black mold away. What sampling there is sounds seamless and scratching is at a minimum, as to not take away from the overall effect. On that level, it’s a respectable achievement. And yet, though I can’t quite put my finger on it, there seems to be something missing from the ingredients to put it over the top. Something this good shouldn’t be this forgettable. It should be Quantic Soul Orchestra and it ends up being more Nickodemus. Hopefully they’ll sort it out for the next record.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


Tagged as: ave.to | hip-hop | kolai | oddisee
Media
Ave.To - Sand to the Beach
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.