Artist: The Sound ProvidersTitle: An Evening With The Sound ProvidersRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Boudreaux The Love Child
The Sound Providers (SPs) are the tandem of production virtuosos Jason Skills and Soulo. Back in 98 they raised eyebrows with the release of a 12 record (Dope Transmission b/w The Field) which fostered the groups signing a distribution deal with indie heavyweight ABB Records. A number of singles followed and their debut full length An Evening With The Sound Providers is finally here, six years later. Although originally a trio, with the emcee Profile now awol, the SPs still deliver an album filled with vintage Hip-Hop purity, Jazz club vibes and toe tapping rhythms.
Most instrumental heavy albums tend to lag because about halfway through the production begins to wane, making the listener listless. The SPs avoid this pitfall by alternating instrumentals tracks with songs containing guest emcees and skits that make the album sound as if it was recorded live in a jazz club or lounge. Old Times Sake features Asheru of the Unspoken Heard yet again dropping more jewels: Hip-hop is a universal language, we all speak fluently/ And shapeshift to fit congruently/ Started in The Bronx around the same time I was born and now look its a worldwide community/ built upon the foundations of peace, unity, love and having fun/Word to Zulu nation because thesell be the same principles that, I hand off to my son. The tracks spry vibes and upbeat drums ably supplement b-boy preservationist Asherus superbly self-assured flow. Hip-hop darlings Little Brother also a lend a hand on the beware of falling off ode Braggin and Boastin with its hilarious chorus, Rappers always braggin and boastin but then they fall off like Billy Ocean. One of the albums strongest cuts is Its Gonna Bee (Alright) which features Wee Bee Foolish (Yeshua & Ken Boogalo) trading optimistic bars over production consisting of swinging piano keys and cascading horns that make the pair sound like theyre being backed by a jazz ensemble . Maspyke (The Throwback) and The Procussions (whose song 5 Minutes gets Hip-hop geek points for including a snippet of A Tribe Called Quests If The Papes Come) round out the rest of the emcee contributions.
The abundance of high caliber emcees only helps to showcase the SPs stellar production skills. Their reliance on jazz samples and loops will quickly garner acceptance by unpretentious fans of bebop (Charlie Parker) and cool (Dave Brubeck) jazz styles while Hip-hop heads will take notice to the effortless way emcee are tossed into the mix. By never allowing the listener to get bored An Evening With The Sound Providers is a nice nightcap indeed.