Five Deez Kommunicator

Ample soul physician Fat Jon and crew present their first album since relocating to Berlin, and the city’s electronic heritage has definitely rubbed off on the Cincinnati natives. On Kommunicator, the Five Deez float hip-hop up to the outer reaches of the atmosphere with a creative blend of complex rhythms, an exhaustive pallet of futuristic sounds, and a consistent amount of soul that forms the glue holding the together the many sonically exploratory elements. Though the work of the groups lyricists would technically make this a hip-hop record, the fact that there are people rhyming on these tracks proves largely inconsequential, as Fat Jon’s fully flushed-out productions provide more than enough to hold your attention. Indeed, a number of the cuts here are instrumentals, and those with vocals often contain large musical stretches showcasing the producers intricately constructed magic. The ambient, synth-heavy "Fifth Degree” best illustrates the former, with its initial rhythmic nod to deep house that quickly dissipates once the drum break reaches its full form, while the album’s title track skitters and stutters through a range of sound tests before the mic men finally show up for work around the three-minute mark. (NRG Komrads)