Djinji Brown Sirround Sound

The name Djinji Brown might seem vaguely familiar to hip-hop heads, yet his music might not be. Despite having cropped up on the credits of a few albums in the '90s, much of Brown's production work, like the entire album he produced for mercurial freestyle fanatic Supernatural, never saw the light of day. Despite this, Brown has continued to explore musically, apparently producing countless volumes of instrumentals. On Sirround Sound, self-described "ethnomusicologist" Brown takes the listener on a truly diasporic journey traversing Afro-Cuban styles, drum & bass, house and straight up hip-hop. If there's a spirit informing this aesthetic, it's the musical freedom of hip-hop's breakbeat-driven origins. Brown himself connects the dots with a penchant for locking into the groove, once he finds it. Although this approach runs the risk of being repetitive, this doesn't become much of an issue, because he changes the sound and even his role on a track-to-track basis. Brown even grabs the mic on "Lifesavers," a collaboration with UK down-tempo merchants Fila Brazillia. Add to the mix the cowbell and horn-laced "Abuelita's Dance" and "Apache's Revenge," a buzzed-out, kinetic nod to the infamous "Apache" breakbeat, and it becomes apparent that Djinji Brown's expansive musical vision, until now holed up in vaults, is definitely worthy of attention. (Seven Heads)