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Music Reviews

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Castle Talk
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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Everything in Between
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Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Lisbon
Fat Possum
Earmint
Another Early Evening
EV Productions

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


August 15, 2006
On a piece of yellow legal tablet paper I jotted some notes about Earmint's new album Another Early Evening as I road to work on the train:

Earmint

.: Some great contributors and hot risers - esp. Lipp [Hefty Records], Psalm One [Rhymesayers], Illogic [Weightless/Dove Ink], LongShot

.: An album made track-to-track without a concept feel. These are slow rolling beats, that kinda fill the background.

.: Lipp track - perfect collaboration for Lipp b/c he uses breakbeats with electronic guises over the top. This is him over the top of Earmint's sampled and pasted beats.

.: Diverse [Chocolate Industries]
- singing "Yeah…yeah…yeah"
- switches to dub backstep
- uses two note xylophone lick - unique, sorta in a weird Mr. Scruff sort of way

.: #6 ["So Much For Nothing"] - Dr. story "catching the clap"…great, hilarious sample

.: Overflo track - vocals are the melody, catchy, ghetto blaster downbeats make track energetic

.: Illogic - bass rotating overhead like oscillating machine turbines

.: "Good Grief" - example of how the music can be too busy. Constant talking sample from Charlie Brown cartoon. Switching between tempos and rhythm samples without true transition.

.: Murs [Definitive Jux Records] - some dirty shit, but fucking hilarious

.: Album's "(Instro)" tracks are like listening to music from a producer like Four Tet, except without psychedelics or experimentation.

.: Krums looks for the kill too often. He doesn't transition or tangent enough to make his killer samples or the fact that he stacks great riffs and beats, stand out.

.: Earmint works in who he aligns himself with.

---
Those were my first impressions listening to hip-hop producer Robert Krums, better known as Earmint. Although some of the comments seem underdeveloped, you can see where they are often going - Another Early Evening has a lot of quirky sounds and odds and ends to be described.

Earmint is a bedroom hip-hop producer, finding his samples and tinkering with his sounds not in some expensive, glitzy studio but in his home quarters, where his thoughts are most personal. It is a surprise that someone with such an intimate creative space managed to put together a strong cast of MCs, guest producers and artists to contribute to his debut for Chicago's EV Productions.

The strength of Another Early Evening is found when Earmint's beats and hooks are perfectly tailored to suit guest spots. From the album's outset, when rising female MC Psalm One croons "Yeeeeahayyyy…what you say now/ Kill 'em all slow with the flashy slang" over concrete snare and a chorus of "Ooooo ooooo"-ing voices, you know it's going to be all good.

18 tracks are held together by samples of aggressive but subtle beats and instrumental soul sounds, with eyboards, organs, winds, operatic singing, echoing saxophone, sharp xylophone, dusty guitar and bass coming together to define this eccentric DJ's style. The music is not too busy, but it is hardly empty; instead it brims with a host of different textures flowing within each track.

Showing the true signs of a keeper album, the more one listens to Another Early Evening, the more it grows. By seeing 11 tracks with "feat." credits, Evening may seem like a guest list welcoming line at a local hip-hop showcase. Earmint's value is in collecting and building an album of integrating parts from the top down. Backpackers and Prefuse 73-loving, glitch-hoppers will consider this album an underground favorite.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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