Say-Wut: Crank It!
Few producers have dominated Baltimore club music in recent years more than Say-Wut. And those who have, namely Rod Lee and Blaq Starr, have distinctive voices to rely on as their trademarks. Say-Wut, on the other hand, has become ubiquitous with a less immediately identifiable sound that's defined, more often than not, by his tracks' high energy and blaring volume. And on his aptly titled new album, Crank It!, he remains faithful to this approach even when mixing in tracks by other producers.
Stepping up his mixing skills from his last DJ disc, 2007's less widely distributed Club Chronicles: Level 1, Say-Wut has developed more of an ear for pacing and thematic segues. King Tutt's "Let's Go" leads into the Wax Musicians' "Here We Go," which itself leads into Say-Wut's own current 92Q staple, "Go Pt. 2." And Say-Wut's "Futuristic," sequenced side by side with Tutt's "The Future," suggests that the direction in which Baltimore club is headed involves some pretty freaky synth work.
Although not a pure showcase for his tracks like the recent EP Beats Extraordinaire, Say-Wut includes enough of his own work to show a broadening palette within the relatively narrow confines of Baltimore's hyper, hip-hop-infused flavor of dance music. The heavily reverbed clap on "Haters Back Up" stands out among the crisper drums typical of Baltimore club, and "Gangsta" is a stunner with its whistling portamento synth riff and pounding snares. And with 36 tracks crammed into 50 minutes, Crank It! doesn't even let the hottest tracks play out long enough to get boring.