Saturday, April 30, 2016

KALOU "Scrapbook 2008-2014"
(Inner Richmond Recording Company)




This I like. Apparently a compilation of sorts collected from various dates over six years.
Here we have a healthy and well directed mix of electronica, pop, rock, rap, beats and oddball esoteric odds and ends. Side one opens with "Istanbul", a soothing yet tastefully melodic journey that lands you at "Green Bicycle", a simple rap over beats. The intrigue continues with "Give Up The Goods" and you begin to realize that this is going to be some adventure.

Compilations risk sounding like a hodgepodge of assorted, non-related tracks (which they often are) that simply don't flow as a collection. Kalou somehow avoids that clumsiness while still maintains interest through the sheer diversity of this outstanding collection. Subtlety plays a major role here as nothing is over produced and the power of the melodies manages to stay head above the water ongoing.

Kalou is likely just Samuel Shelton Robinson, who wrote, produced (and sampled) everything contained herein. The tape is packaged in a standard Norelco case with color j-card. The reverse has track listings and contact info. Also included is the artists business card and, oddly enough, a Tone Loc Pro Set MusiCard. Go figure.

After writing this review, I found myself returning to this collection often. Admittedly it's early in the year, but this is the best cassette issue I've heard so far in 2016. Listening to multitudes of tape releases can be trying business, but this kind of discovery is a renewal of faith. Highly recommended.



-- Bob Zilli         


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