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Sound Providers: Sound Providers

Sound Providers: Sound Providers

Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Andrea D. Wilson | Posted 2/18/2004

Beatmakers sampling jazz tunes is certainly nothing new, but new-school revivalists Jason Skills and Soulo prove there's still plenty of innovation possible. Together they are the Sound Providers, a relatively young Californian production team that is making an impressive introduction with their debut, An Evening With the Sound Providers.

An Evening showcases the duo's freshly crafted instrumentals along with various guest appearances from some notable MCs. Asheru of Unspoken Heard rides the smooth, head-nodding flute and xylophone loops of "For Old Time's Sake," addressing those who may have forgotten about hip-hop's important past. The rhyme specialists in Maspyke provoke thought over the funky, piano-laden "The Throwback," while Little Brother MCs Phonte and Big Pooh poke fun at fallen rappers on "Braggin' and Boasting": "Rappers always be braggin' and boastin'/ But then they fall off like Billy Ocean." Things get reflective on "It's Gonna Bee (Alright)" as Yeshua and Ken Boogaloo trade encouraging verses over a smooth bass line and mellow acoustic guitar.

While the guest appearances breathe life into the beats, the Sound Providers' instrumentals are equally enjoyable. "Night Steps" flips chopped strings, while "Only Moments Ago" takes it back with heavy-duty bass kicks, furious scratches, and jingly guitar loops. Other key tracks include the zany antics and fluttering keys of "Autumn's Evening Breeze," the sweeping horns and groovy bump of "The Prodigal Return," and the tense, string-fueled "Pacific Vibrations." An Evening is a compelling immersion into the SPs' sound, where the duo tweaks beats and pushes MCs into nicely fitted performances.

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