Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ave.To some phat beats

An album full of instrumentals is tough to pull off. It's rare to find one that keeps you hooked from beginning to end without your attention drifting off to la-la land. While Three Way Intersection isn't strictly speaking an instrumental album (there are some vocal samples conservatively dabbed here and there), it's got a big sharp hook that will keep your ears glued to its fifteen tracks - all hour and fifteen minutes of them. As the album title suggests, it's a collaboration between three artists: producers Oddisee and Unknown and reed specialist Kolai. The trio came together in Washington D.C. under the name Ave.To (yea, that's them up at the top - want to guess who the picture is of that they're posing in front of?), where they drew upon local talent to add some flavor.

The album is all about putting together some phat beats. They build them, they tear them apart, and then they piece them back together. Along the way, be prepared for a ride through some wide open vistas of jazz, hip-hop, and soul. There's some really thick grooves here that they assemble using a blend of electronics and traditional instruments. One track you'll be hearing an electric guitar, the next some sassy horns. It shifts from afrobeat (Future Funk) to spicy Latin jams (Cuba Libre) to 70's funk (Stank), with some slow grooves in the mix as well to throw on after you've moved into the bedroom (Xess), all with a hip-hop moveability to it. Every track is like one long break, ready to lead you into something new.

Honestly, don't let the instrumental label keep you away from this album. There's plenty of character here without lyrics to sing along with. And if you are down with folks like The Budos Band and Antibalas, this album will give you a fresh subtle cosmopolitan sound to sink your teeth into. Check out the following tracks (one not included on the U.S. release which comes out on the 15th) to experience the beat-making ability of Ave.To.

Ave.To - Mama's Koolaid : Three Way Intersection

Ave.To - Bahia : Three Way Intersection (Japanese Release)

Visit their website, their label Asahra Music, and become their friend on MySpace.


Budos Band - Adeniji : The Budos Band II

Antibalas - Che Che Cole : Daptone 7 Inch Singles Collection Vol. 2

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