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The Blue Noise Remix Project



While the thankful passing of so-called "acid jazz" could not have arrived too soon, there are a few artists on both sides of the Atlantic who still lurk in the domain where jazz-funk, hip hop, and studio dope intersect. Fortunately, the focus of most of these artists tends toward the more esoteric aspects of rhythm and studio production (see Kruder & Dorfmeister, the Ninja Tune label, et al.) and away from melody, vocals, and pop-song structures (condolences to the late Brand New Heavies and the inexplicably overrated Jamiroquai). Adrian Quesada is one such artist, and his Blue Noise Remix Project manages to slip and slide in a comfortable, dirty four-track groove between lo-fi (read: underground, ghetto, not-so-fabulous) head-nod beats and jazz-funk idioms, just like a Stanton 505 needle on an old Herbie Hancock or Ramsey Lewis record.

Looping and sampling himself (and his compadres from the Austin-based Blue Noise Band), Quesada gets just enough dirt on the tracks to create an improvisational, jazz-like vibe without cluttering or flattening the funk. His passion for hip hop always remains close to the smoky, slow-burning surface. "Problem Solving" envisions George Benson as a Tron-like super hero, trapped inside a sketchy, second-hand Macintosh hard drive with only a guitar. The rumbling bass howl and tequila-soaked organ on "Is That What You Wanted?" sound like an epic turntable session in the middle of a Texas twister after eating the worm.

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