Track Of The Week: Exile – The Sound Is God
As I write these words I realise more and more that the title of this piece should have just been Album Of The Week. I’m talking bout the new release by Exile called Radio. Out recently on Plug Research, this masterful instrumental hip-hop album strikes a chord on many, many levels. I first heard Exile‘s work via his track In The Night 22 from 2007’s From L.A. With Love compilation – I was totally addicted to the track and am still greatly fond of it now. Hence I was keen to hear this new LP, Radio.
The specific track I’ve picked out is The Sound Is God. Hard-hitting tight beats intertwined with such levels of arrangement exhibiting uncanny amounts of musical depth. On the surface it’s an absolute banger – but delve a bit more and there is so much contained inside. Minute samples and sounds, exquisitely built into one spine-tingling hip-hop composition. It will shake your bones whilst simultaneously caressing your soul – and it’s undeniably Exile, trademark material for sure.
Although with a distinct amount of variance, the whole LP contains that trademark Exile production technique. It doesn’t bare comparison with many contemporaries as such things are irrelevant beyond the fact that Exile creates boundary pushing instrumental hip-hop with an MPC sampler. I was actually surprised to see comments on another site from people claiming Radio to be a “Donuts wannabe”, if anyone in all seriousness thinks Radio is anything like Donuts, then they really don’t know what they are talking about. That’s a totally ludicrous thought. The theme of Radio is, obviously, radio and between tracks (i.e. intros and outros) there are cut ups from radio samples and also thought provoking dialogue, but there’s nothing to compare with Donuts other than the aforementioned hip-hop and MPC parts. If everyone that makes music using lots of samples and an MPC is automatically going to be accused of biting J Dilla, then we better all call it a day right now. So naive – even Exile’s MPC techniques are completely different to Dilla’s, sane ears will tell you that from the get go.
Anyway, rant over. Radio is a top, top LP and you need to buy it now, seriously!