I’m at a slight disadvantage here, having never heard the first two volumes in this series. Nonetheless, I can safely say part three is quite good. Basically, this is ~scape’s take on hip-hop, with contributions from Andrew Pekler, Kit Clayton, and Daniel Bell (as Gazoo), among others. As the title suggests, this volume is strictly breaks.
Andrew Pekler starts things off with “Steady Bounce.” A traditional snare and kick drum beat, thumping bass, and synth bleeps accompany some repetitive vocal samples. It’s an okay groove, but it never really goes anywhere. Jan Jelinek’s “Silver Circle” is a better approach, with a laid-back, funky bassline and some subtle vinyl manipulation. Mix some rhymes over this and you’re in biz. Cappablack’s “Components & Variables” is more interesting on its own, with a variety of scratched vocal samples over an unconventional beat. Kit Clayton’s “¡Etymon, No!” is also really cool, with old-school synth stabs and a bizarre melody. I’m especially fond of “Cyberspace Visual” by John Tejada. Frenzied scratching over a wicked beat make this my favorite track on this comp.
~scape’s artists have definitely digested hip-hop beats, but some of the elements I love most about hip-hop are left out. No rhymes. No bizarre juxtapositions. (I like DJs who mix in everything but the kitchen sink). Instead, this stuff reminds me of Ninja Tune’s output—it’s a European take on hip-hop. It makes for good listening, but it’s worlds away from American rap.