Chrome Children, Vol. 2
Stones Throw, 2007
REVIEW BY: Shane M. Liebler
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/15/2007
Well, there’s a reason it’s free, but the Web-based companion to Stones Throw’s 2006 Chrome Children compilation is still better than most of the shit you’ll find floating in the mainstream. It may be the best package ever jointly marketed with a group of late night cartoons.
The Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block of shows has proved an excellent platform for this well-respected independent hip-hop label and Madlib, its quirky production backbone and premier underground beat chief.
In addition to its odd and successful partnership with toons, the label has become vanguard of late great Detroit DJ J Dilla’s unreleased work.
However, the absence of the two stars that made the first compilation sparkle make this second edition fall flat in some places.
Most of these 16 freebies available for download at stonesthrow.com feature the signature of some of the label’s up-and-comers on both sides of the turntables. Oh No lays some J Dilla-worthy vintage soul flavor under Roc C’s “Living For The City,” then comes back with vocal bite on the edgy smack down “Gitback.”
Indie electronic instrumentalist Four Tet provides the compilation’s standout composition for promising Detroit MC Guilty Simpson, who provides a crude swagger reminiscent of forefathers and J Dilla creation
Madlib’s two instrumental appearances offer some spacey, funk-laced interludes worthy of the dance floor and dead air between Adult Swim shows alike. The final seven tracks, while pleasantly funky, tend to be unmemorable.
Still, for those in the know or have no idea, Chrome Children Vol. 2 is an un-passable opportunity to discover underground hip hop’s latest talents.
[To learn more, check out http://www.stonesthrow.com/chromechildren]