Two/Three

Artist: DabryeTitle: Two/ThreeRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Robert Longfellow

Producer extraordinaire Dabrye has garnered critical acclaim as an electronic happy producer. Two/Three (Ghostly International) is the second stop in the Michigan bases artists cycle of three Hip-Hop flavored albums and comes fives years since One/Three. Instrumental heavy albums are a tough pill to swallow if you aren’t into MPCs and Korgs, though the sounds here are a notch above interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing. But despite all the jibber jabber of his deity like maneuvers behind the boards, the album works best when talented MCs compliment his otherworldly tracks.

Rapper Kadence has no trouble manhandling cavernous bass thump switched by snares on “Encoded”, though it’s easy to get caught up more into the beat than his actual rhymes. Guilty Simpson and Paradime get busy over distorted fuzz on “Special”. Though Dabrye is kind in letting the aforementioned hometown mic wielders get some shine, the best tracks come together with the “pros”. Cannibal Ox’s Vast Aire has never met a beat that can outmatch him, and his streak continues, though the playful of keys of “That’s What’s Up” provide a good contest while he kicks, “Don’t get it pretzeled, you wanna outline the rhyme then I’m the stencil.” An array of guests including MF DOOM (“Air”) and AG (“My Life”) fill out the album’s future sound.

“Tell Dem” isn’t a bad instro and he teams with Waajeed on blues rockish “Jorgy”. The spacey “Bloop” is good too but the joint with Beans (“Nite Eats”) is an electro-clunker. The album’s closer-it was initially released in 2004-redeems things with the late Jay Dee and Phat Kat teaming over what sounds like C3PO beatboxing on “Game Over”. Though it’s tough to swallow all the Dabrye flavored Kool-Aid, on Two/Three the man doubled up with a solid effort.

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