Joe Beats Diverse Recourse

Don’t let the somewhat daft name throw you off, because Rhode Island’s Joe Beats has been coming with fire for the past few years. As one half of Non-Prophets with Sage Francis, and having released a remix record of his favourite indie rock songs, Joe Beats falls into that difficult category of instrumental hip-hop for fans of Pitchfork. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as that slow-paced, organic sound still has some legs left to keep your attention, though numbers like the funky "Spikes for Punch Bowl” sounds terribly stale and wouldn’t have sounded fresh ten years ago on a Thievery Corporation mix. But even though Diverse Recourse hits a couple of snags, for the majority Joe Beats delivers the straight goods with down tempo thumpers very similar to those of Blockhead or DJ Signify. One highlight includes the carnival-inspired "The Buzz Off,” where Joe brings Tijuana Brass and crashing drums together to shake Diverse Recourse out of its dreamlike state, and it’s a unique sound the album could have benefited more from. There are several great numbers on this that showcase the creative production and there’s no question that Joe Beats is one to keep an eye on but, even though the title would make you think otherwise, this solid effort could have used more diversity. (Bully)