Featuring guest appearances from Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Cannibal Ox's Vast Aire, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Dose One, and a handful of other indie MCs, Ghetto Blaster finds Push Button Objects' Edgar Farinas ditching academic instrumental electronic music in favor of a more overtly hip-hop aesthetic. Freed from the trappings of his inward-looking electronic gymnastics routines of old, Farinas turns in some inspired production; in deference to his new direction, Ghetto Blaster's backing tracks are rich, hook-laden, and beat-heavy. Reminiscent of Prefuse 73's finely sliced organic tapestries, they're also well-suited to withstand a barrage of MCs. Whether in the soulful guitar twitches of first single "360 Degrees" (in which Lif and Del trade verses, lines, and -- finally -- syllables), the paranoaic-in-Disneyland swirl of the sublime "3 Doctors" (with relative unknowns Philco, Illustrate, and Verb sharing mike duties), or the open-ended jazz chords of the wonky "Shut Down" (featuring the on-point Aesop Rock), it's clear that Farinas has found his legs. With the exception of a few missteps (both the scrambly "Sleep" and the comically overwrought "Air" are worth skipping), Ghetto Blaster is an admirable reinvention that should indoctrinate Farinas into the new school of bleeding-edge underground hip-hop producers.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Pytlik