Deadbeat: Journeyman’s Annual

~scape, 2007

While I wasn’t that impressed by Deadbeat’s minimal techno phase, I’m really enjoying his style of dubstep. Journeyman’s Annual is fun from start to finish. “Lost Luggage” sets the tone, with a slow hip-hop beat and punishing bass drops. Percussion echoes dubbily, then Deadbeat (Scott Monteith) lays in the samples. The bassline on “Melbourne Round Midnight” is even better, chugging along like a mammoth in tar. The rest of the track is quite minimalist. “Refund Me” features Moral Undulations MCing over choppy synth stabs. While I don’t understand Bubbz’ surreal apocalyptic poem on “Deep in Country,” it sounds cool. On “Gimme a Little Slack,” Jah Cutta toasts about all the types of women he wants. Where’s Sarah Jones when we need her? It’s followed by a dub emphasizing Monteith’s intricate production. The drums are especially spectacular. Best of all is the bonus track, a rare Deadbeat remix of Saul Williams’ “Black Stacey.” Williams’ rhymes about the insecurities of adolescence and race roll along perfectly with Deadbeat’s smooth bass and beats. It’s a real anthem, and a perfect ending to a fine album.

4/5 stars

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