Artist: Five DeezTitle: KommunicatorRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Mark Cilantro

I first heard of the Five Deez and particularly Pase Rock and Fat Jon The Ample Soul Physician from J Rawls of The Lone to The Cata. Back then in '99 the Five Deez were a contender in the then burgeoning indie renaissance. As most of that draft class has washed out like a Duke grad in the NBA, Kommunicator (Rapster) lets you know the Deez refuse to go out like a sucker.

Instead of rehashing industry gripes over rudimentary loops, Fat Jon and the crew flex their artistic muscle on their third full length. Fat Jon, the group's Maestro, moved to Berlin a few years back and being sequestered in the Father Land seems to have done him some good. The sounds he provides are fundamental Hip-Hop drums with a touch of that Midwest Soul filtered through an ultra hip Euro sound. T he deliberate attempt to make a different record. Is appreciated while Fat Jon himself states, “It’s definitely not a rap record.” Thank goodness.

The album is littered with full blown instrumentals and extended bridges that create a down tempo listening experience with “kick drum struts like an arrhythmic heartbeat.” The MC's seem to realize this is the Fat Jon show and allow their lyrics to be properly mixed into the compositions. Again a concerted attempt by Maurice Galactica, “I didn’t want any vocals in which it could be heard that someone in the studio had spoken them into a microphone.” Pase Rock, Sonic, and Kyle David lay introspective, fast paced lyrics that come off like Hiero mixed with the Mountain Bros. West coast laid back with quality East Coast A-level Backpacker swing. Tracks to check for include “So Good”, “Kommunicator”, and “Let The People Know.” Hoowever, “Sapphire”, “Rushmore” and “The Last Time” may disappoint the discerning fan.

Be careful though under what circumstances you listen to Kommunicator. It is perfect for a cruise down PCH or a Friday night after some adult beverages and illicit substances. In other environments the laid back groove could be mistaken for boredom and put that ass to sleep. All in all, Kommunicator is a quality piece of art from “four black dudes” who take this seriously.