Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Various Artists: Closed Sessions: ATX

Posted on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge music_csatx_cmyk.jpg
Various Artists: Closed Sessions: ATX
Label: Soundscape Recordings
Release Date: 2011-03-23
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

Closed Sessions: ATX is a convergent media project for the post-Survivor world. The product of a week’s work overseen by producer DJ Babu and a host of MCs, the effort reeks of empirical drama. Can one producer and 24 rappers record 10 songs in seven days just outside the Austin city limits? Stay tuned! But for serious, Babu and company are gallantly luring in the backpacker crowd while keeping a mainstream aesthetic on this second album in a series. Babu spins the crunk format into something evolved on opener “The Only Life We Know.” “Heads of the Heads” is driven by stacks of alternately ominous and skittering synths peppered with trademark frenetic hi-hats. Triumphant closer “This is the Life” is the closest the album comes to sounding like it’s been produced by the Neptunes. But the album loses something in its race against time. The tracks bleed into one another, barely holding up to scrutiny. It begs the question: Why didn’t they just give it a month and deliver something more polished?

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