Eric Lau

Examples

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Eric Lau has released engaging instrumental hip-hop LPs before, but neither one of them has the elegance, restorative spirit, and subtle power of Examples. Known more for his collaborations with scores of noted singers, rappers, musicians, and fellow producers -- Georgia Anne Muldrow, Guilty Simpson, and Yussef Kamaal among them -- Lau might be at his best when unaccompanied and in beat-tape mode. Concise enough to fit onto one side of a C90, Examples criss-crosses elements sourced primarily from the jazz, soul, and Brazilian bins, put together with all the finesse of a veteran whose mentality is in line with that of J Dilla, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Q-Tip (the last of whom is present via sample). Knockouts "Spooky Fonk," "The Sun Beyond," "Gold," and "Lullaby" are brief to the point of vexation, dealing out clawing basslines, reversed-sounding strings, clamping beats, dazed keyboards, and whining synthesizer melodies to striking effect. There isn't a lull among the other 23 cuts -- and each one sets up the next -- making for instinctive complete and repeated playback.

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