DJ Cam

The Loa Project, Vol. 2

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For The Loa Project, Vol. 2, DJ Cam expanded his emphasis on cellar-dwelling hip-hop to embrace the legacies of disco and dub, two styles whose roots lie quite close to the beginnings of rap in the early '70s. For "Ganja Man," Cam reprises the bassline from a seminal Augustus Pablo dub version ("King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown") to create an intriguing jump-up drum'n'bass track. The French producer also salutes the disco/house axis with several tracks, including the jazzy house jam "Juliet" and the breakbeat filter-disco number "DJ Cam Sound System." Of course, ranging from genre to genre is nothing new for the vast majority of electronic producers, so the risk here becomes losing the distinctive DJ Cam sound to a wash of bland stylistic exercises. Fortunately, his production and beat-mining skills rescue any possible impression of look-what-I-can-do studio theatrics. And Cam also works through plenty of hip-hop territory. The scratchy hardcore musings of "Mental Invasion" are reminiscent of DJ Premier, one of hip-hop's best, and Cam even tips his hat to Timbaland with the hyper-breakbeat R&B of "You Do Something to Me" (featuring China). "Ghetto Love" isn't quite the G-funk jam listeners might expect, instead comprising some quintessentially cinematic dark trip-hop. Despite the diversity, The Loa Project, Vol. 2 hangs together well since DJ Cam only enlarged his focus to include styles with much kinship to his first love. Note to indie rock fans: the Franck Black who features on "Candyman" is apparently not the former Pixies frontman, though it's unclear from the track and the liner notes just who he is or what he does.

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