Encore Layover

Encore Layover
A singles specialist with an impeccable straight-arrow flow, Encore proved that he could bring his A-game to the full-length arena with 2000’s Self Preservation. While hovering on the brinks of many a top ten list, the LP's bleak industrial milieu failed to resonate with beat-heads looking for some snap along with their crackle-pop. Opting for a more definitively rugged approach on his follow-up release, 'Core shifts the majority of beat chores to Seattle standouts Jake One and Vitamin D. Layering a series of soul shrieks and atop a rippling bass line, Jake's sensational and succinct "Layover" sets the stage and charges the air like raw lightening. Rising to the challenge of his Northwestern counterpart, Vitamin D strikes thrice and brings a light-handed precision to balance out the LP's abundance of anthems. Most notable among these is "Real Talk,” a nimble duet with Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets that stands as Encore's most colourful vocal venture to date. On an emotional scale, Layover penetrates where the battle rap-intensive Self Preservation only scratched the surface. On "Faithful,” we find the mic controller in top form, questing for spirituality, "between hoochie blacks and militants." With Layover, an LP that is both more sonically pleasing on the surface and more revelatory at its depths than its predecessor, he appears to be on the right path. (Hiero Imperium)