Kero One

Check the Blueprints

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The debut EP by Bay Area-based rapper/producer Kero One collects three mixes each of two tracks, "Check the Blueprints" and "The Cycle Repeats." Kero One's roots are in the acid jazz movement of the early '90s, and neither of these songs would be out of place on an album by Guru or Us3. Kero One chose an interesting way to remix these songs: in both cases, the LP versions of the songs feature prominent turntable work and brass-heavy samples underneath his fluid, positive rhymes, while the remixes are considerably more mellow, with the "Check the Blueprints" remix based on mellow, groovy piano and "The Cycle Repeats" featuring Herbie Mann-style flutes. Unfortunately, the last two tracks are redundant "LP instrumental versions": basically just the first two tracks with the vocals wiped. Unfortunately, these tracks reveal that while the tunes are built on cool sounds, they're not intrinsically that interesting when Kero One's smooth, conversational lyrics are missing.

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