[Album Review] The Blackhouse – “The Blackhouse” – ### Review
The output of quality music that Mello Music Group has released in 2012 alone is staggering. O.C. & Apollo Brown’s Trophies, Oddissee’s People Hear What They See, 7even Thirty’s debut, and those are just a tiny portion of the albums that have come so far. Just wait until you hear Black Opera’s latest, plus Guilty Simpson and Apollo Brown’s collaboration is around the corner too. To say that it can be a little overwhelming to navigate their catalog would be an understatement. Simply put, if there is one label out there worth spending your money on on a regular basis, MMG makes the argument that it should be them.
The latest offering, of their almost weekly release schedule, finds Georgia Ann Muldrow and DJ Romes combining forces to form The Blackhouse, and their release is of the same name. The Blackhouse is an instrumental project, so going in one needs to know that from the jump. If lyricism is your bread-and-butter, this probably isn’t the album you need to spend the ducats on. Those interested in the ever-growing field of instrumental hip-hop may find this the perfect complement to many of the other ones that are already available, but with a couple of twists to keep it fresh for the 2012.
If you’ve heard a Georgia Ann Muldrow production, you probably know what you are getting. She brings futuristic funk draped in soul, and intertwined with hints of disco. DJ Romes, with years of hip-hop turntablism and production under his belt, adds a heaping helping of hip-hop song structure, dope scratches, and complementary samples/soundbites to make this album that much stronger. It’s really Romes’ contribution to the album that will keep a hip-hop head’s attention on this album longer than the what Georgia brings to the table. With his incorporation of numerous samples from the Old-school and Golden Eras of hip-hop, there are gems overt and hidden within the tracks. From Biz’s “Funky” to MC Lyte’s “Remember last night’s action?” and Big Daddy Kane’s “Lights, camera, action!” on “Shana’s Beat”, there are plenty of vocal samples that keep you listening once the beats have started to become repetitive.
What should be noted is that the production is funky and diverse, but there just isn’t enough going on to necessarily warrant coming back to this record long after initial listen. These aren’t DJ Shadow productions that continuously build and change into musical masterpieces; they also are not hip-hop beats that can be thrown on behind an overrated rapper to ”freestyle” over on a mix-show. What you have is nice instrumental music to throw on in the background while you do whatever you do.
Rating: ### out of #####
01 fOnkie Journey
03 Modulating (Tutankhamun)
07 Wild Style Skit
08 84 Rap Hit
09 G.R.O.O.V.E. ME
10 Zappin’ Skit
11 Chimurenga Vibration
13 Shana’s Beat