Indie (Sept. 22, 2009)
Reviewed by Trey Palmisano
Overall of of
Audio Sensei is coughing up big beats from hip hop’s storied past. And Because is the reason why the synthesis between some of the freshest music in Christian and underground hip hop gets married to the secular and dominates it like the music was always theirs to master. The transitions are flawless, the scratches are sharp, focused, and on point. It’s his turntables. It’s his show. And he’s the boss.
The original intent of this mix tape was to demonstrate the skills of DJ Because on the live Sphere of Hip Hop show, which was once a resident on the now-defunct XM satellite radio provider. When things fell through, Sphere decided to make it a direct sale option. And that’s a good thing for mix tape fans. This is not your best friend cutting up some records in his parent’s garage, trying too hard to peddle his amateur projects from his gym locker. This isn’t the cat bilking his wares on a street corner whose mix mastering is shameful and guilty of sloppy over layering, whose fingers can’t hold steady on the mixer long enough to engender any respect for bpm synchronicity. This is a professional DJ with an innate sense for beats, tempos, and rhymes. DJs like Because seem to hear the music before he ever spins the wax (or digital wax). Sure anyone can prearrange the rotation, but not everyone can scratch out the same phrase five or even ten times with mathematical precision.
Notable spins include a few ‘80s instrumentals from bands like INXS and hip hop mashing of Biggie. One of Because’s talents is to keep the beats from being overworked. We’ve all heard that mix tape where it sounds like the DJ lost his place in the rotation and runs with an-all-too familiar beat aimlessly while he tries to partner the next track in his mind. But Because doesn’t hang on his own hooks too long and moves the composition forward, keeping it interesting with an expansive selection of tracks.
If you’re looking for a change in your own playlist and you’ve worn out your solo and collective projects, and compilations, while you head into the school year thinking the summer parties are over, there’s nothing like a mix tape to throw up that one last party mix and showcase the creativity of this unsung hero behind the wheels of steel. This is soloing at its best, hot dogging at the highest level, where the DJ shines and the MC is, well, just pretty scenery.
For fans of: real hip-hop mix tapes, remixes, Beat Rabbi, Braille, Cookbook and Uno Mas, Cross Movement, Deepspace 5, JustMe, Mr. J Medeiros, Ohmega Watts, Page One and Because, RedCloud, Scribbling Idiots, Soul P, Soup the Chemist, theBREAX, Theory Hazit, Zane