Ayatollah: Louder

Let’s face it; an instrumental album is a tough release to sell; no words, no verses, no hooks. Just beats. And with the release of Louder (Nature Sounds), producer Ayatollah is now on his third instrumental release. One’s undoubtedly heard his sound: just check Mos Def’s “Ms. Fat Booty” from 1999’s Black on Both Sides or Styles P’s “My Life” from 2002’s Soundbombing III.The new album from the New York production icon is yet another journey into the soul, funk and R&B influenced mind of Ayatollah. With Hip-Hop influences ranging from Marley Marl and the 45 King to Pete Rock, all producers with heavy weight to their names, Ayatollah’s Louder is a bridging of sinister sounds and slower, more rugged drum patterns; blending the predominant style of production from early 1990s Hip-Hop with more modern flare.Songs such as “Chariots of Gods,” “A Cold Feelin’ ‘Rakim Joint’,” “Pound Cake” and “Basically” all personify Ayatollah’s influence of classic Hip-Hop sounds; grilling bass lines and thunder-pouncing drums. At the same time, Ayatollah is able to implement synthetic tweaks overtop the heavy underbelly of the song. The man even makes the popular comic turned television show Peanuts theme song into pure Hip-Hop.Where Louder differs from his previous releases, both 2006’s Now Playing and Listen, is in the album’s consistency. Now Playing features much more sampled vocals sprinkled throughout, and implements two instrumentals Inspectah Deck used for his 2003 album The Movement. Listen, in terms of production, is much broader; with music ranging from slow and syncopated to up-tempo. Louder is much more focused in its execution, a correct blend of Ayatollah’s previous two releases with an added element of maturation.