Passalacqua – Self-Titled (2011)
Album: Self-Titled EP
- Pineapple Faygo
- Bad Grammar
- Tom & Bootsy
- Been A Minute
This is a release that randomly hit my email the other day. I always have an assortment of releases to look at and review, but I got this in my inbox and decided at six tracks, the least I can do is give it a spin. I am glad that I did. Passalacqua is a dope record by any set of standards. They pack a lot of punch into these six tracks. The EP is the type of jam that you would play on a Sunday morning and relax. It’s jazzy and very harmonious.
This effort is a collaboration of two detroit artists, Mister and Blaksmith. I have never heard of either before but this melding of talents seems effortless and natural. Their production, which is a GREAT reason to love this EP, is handeld by Dr. B.
Pineapple Faygo is musically amazing. I love the dusty jazz vibe of this track. Usually I prefer some harder boom-bap but this joint is on another level when it comes to being “smooth”. The horns just ooze the soulful vibe. Mister’s deep and raspy vocals in particular sound really good on a track like this. His cadence and flow just lend themselves to the slower paced cut.
Tom and Bootsy is another joint that moved me. I love the classic guitar samples Dr. B is using. It sounds a little western, perhaps a little spanish but when mixed with the hype drum pattern and scratching, it becomes pure hip hop. Mister and Blak Smith exchange sixteens and their contrasting styles make this a track to listen to. It is probably my favorite track of the lot because while the lyrics keep you on your toes, the music remains so entrancing.
The title track, Passalacqua, continues the laid back goodness with another guitar laced tirade by Dr. B. In the background looms an ever subtle flute (or other indiscriminate wind instrument). The emcees prove once again to be very engaging in their own unique styles. Blak Smith drops the first verse on the cut and in trying to take a quotable I found that my mind and my keyboard could not work quickly enough. The same stood the same when Mister dropped his bars. These rhymes appear to be based on just a stream of consciousness. The lyrics are woven so intricately that it is impossible to take in everything on the first, second, or even third listen.
Passalacqua is simply a different release. It is one that I could sit and analyze for hours and still not come up with the perfect combination of words to describe it. But I will try:
It is poetry in motion. Musically and lyrically this is a journey that has no definite end. It is an enjoyable listen from start to finish and I can easily recommend it to anyone. My only hope is that this is not a one trip deal for these three individuals. Blak Smith, Mister, and Dr. B have incredible chemistry and I think they, or we (being selfish) deserve a full length effort.