Uncle Junior's Fish Fry (The Market)

Artist: Djinji BrownTitle: Uncle Junior's Fish Fry (The Market)Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Paine

Djinji Brown has been laying the cut for a minute. As a producer, he has crafted some sounds behind Pete Rock and CL Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest, J-Live, and even Barrington Levy. As a DJ, he has been a young face keeping alive the spirit of Bambattaa and Herc with the hip-hop dance party. Last year, Djinji’s album Sirround Sound surprised many for its innovation in the instrumental hip-hop arena. Djinji returns, to mix a compilation of the same records Seven Heads founder, Wes Jackson’s father used to play at his memorable Fish Fry’s; Uncle Junior's Fish Fry (The Market).

Djinji pulls from a wide array of shelves to make this mix. While it’s not the quickly cliché mash-up variety, Djinji does put Jazzy Jeff, Brass Connection, and Vinija Mojica all on the same mix. Without a doubt, Brown never breaks the cohesive blend, and the listener gets a true house party vibe that feels both part 1975 and part 2005.

While these records are probably not in your personal crates, the tracks will sound familiar. If they aren’t you’re in for a deep treat. The Gregory Issacs’ “Crof” served that purpose for me, providing a newfound deep dub delicacy. Other highlights include the underground disco jam “The Meaning” by Brass Connection, and the horn heavy, too-short, “Don’t Take Your Love From Me” by Marion Brown. While The Market is etched together with a strong hip-hop sensibility, the mix truly pays greater homage to West Indian rhythms and Afro-percussion. Even for the most belligerent b-boy, there’s nothing not to love here at all.

Many argue that hip-hop remains for the young. Djinji Brown’s deft mixing skills on Wes Jackson’s household records prove otherwise. The Market is a mature record for a hip-hop fan to grow old with. It shares the attitude, the flamboyance, and even a few rhymes in the mix, but the mix gives ground to the older, deeper-rooted b-boy. While The Market will be the initial installment in the “Fish Fry” series, Djinji Brown and his efforts will be hard to top. One can only wait for the follow-up.