macedonia on 05/17/2009 at 04:15PM
My first experience with the Homework Records netlabel was last year's release from a great DJ/producer duo called Apes On Tapes. They immediately reminded me of Prefuse 73, chopping up vocals into Julienne fries-thin slices and peppering hip-hop based productions with spicy staccato phrases. I was hooked. From there it was on to the work of Phooka, whose Morning Patterns album (another 2008 release) contains selections created between 7:00 and 9:30 A.M. The pieces ranged from relaxing deep house and downtempo to minimal and full-bodied techno. Thankfully, this label has found its way over to the Free Music Archive and supplied us with the perfect introduction to their sound via Lavori Domestici Vol. 2.
Released late March of this year, it's 26 tracks deep and showcases the best of Homework Records alongside like-minded artists from other labels. Meanest Man Contest supplies some quirky twitches with "You're right, it's ballin," a sparkling melody providing an anchor for the song while sonic bells and whistles circle around it. Apes On Tapes make a welcome appearance here with "Loosing My Paganism": while surprisingly subdued, the end results are no less effective. "Taka" by (costa) is one of the best downbeat moments - hard-as-nails hip-hop beats with clicks, cuts, and verbal confetti whizzing by your head (was that Flavor Flav I just heard?). Whereas the first half of this compilation deals in moments prime for living room chillout sessions, the second half makes its way to the dancefloor. Recommended crowd movers include the melancholy minimal techno of "Sunny" by Mass Prod., the sensual "Sax For Your Sex" by Minidischi, and the edgy, acidic industrial of Micamat + Desanimaux's "Maneki Neko-Dance."
Clocking in at over 150 minutes in length, it may seem like a lot to take in, but I guarantee you that the monotony of any workday will be chased away just by putting this compilation on and letting it play. Check out the selection from Phooka below for added incentive. Although the song is entitled "I'm From Kreuzberg," its soulful warmth would be right at home in Detroit...