DJ Cam Soulshine

DJ Cam returns with his follow-up to 2000's Loa Project Volume II, and this time he's leaned more towards his love for jazz music. Gone, for the most part, are the drum machine and loops, as Cam has brought together live instrumentation as an outlet for his songwriting. Creating a live jazz feel, which Cam has imitated through samples in past works, this jazz ensemble slips through each track with a lush essence of soul and a sense of improvisation. Things take a beautiful turn when the first blend of hip-hop enters the picture, with none other than Gang Starr's Guru taking MC duties over a slow snare, multiple keys, horns and cuts from "Mass Appeal." It's fitting to have Guru lend a hand in Cam's project, because in some ways the French DJ is emulating Baldhead Slick's Jazzmatazz projects. The connection with Gang Starr returns near the end of the record, with a DJ Premier remix of "Voodoo Child," with Afu Ra, which sticks out amongst the live gathering of musicians, but Premier rarely comes weak and is on point with a soul-inspired straight-up hip-hop joint. With some of Cam's past albums being here and there and, at times, unfocused as to what direction he wants to take (hip-hop, dance, soul, tribal), it's good to see a clear vision was followed from beginning to end. (Inflammable)