Nickodemus

Endangered Species

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AllMusic Review by

In a dance music world in which most DJs happily slot themselves into a prefabricated niche and stay there, rarely challenging their fans' ears and expectations, New York-based Nickodemus is something of an anomaly. He grew up on hip-hop, Latin music, and Motown R&B, and when he hit the decks himself he quickly brought in elements of blues, funk, and Afro-beat as well. His very fine debut album finds him exploring all of his various influences and paying tribute to the sounds and artists that continue to inspire him in his native city. From the Latin bop of "Mi Swing Es Tropical" and the complex horn-heavy funk of "Funky in the Middle" to the Brazilian house excursion "Bailamos en el Junque" and the hard-yet-sweet female rap of "The Spirits Within," Nickodemus shows off an admirable breadth of taste here, and even if "Give the Drummer Some" offers a throwaway meta-rap lyric and "Mystery of Life" is only a so-so song, every track has more than enough sonic depth to reward close listening. Notice, in particular, the klezmer horns on "Crazy Stranger" and the utterly gorgeous highlife guitar on "Back from Africa." Highly recommended.

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