Jon b Beat Diarya

Edmonton producer Jon b presents his beat-making skills with this compilation of remixes, warps and original songs. A little under half of the album falls into the first category: standard issue remixes of underground hip-hop classics, as well as Busta Rhymes’s "Woo Ha,” now with a stripped-down, Timbaland-inspired beat perfect for Missy Elliott, which also happens to be the best example of Jon b’s well-crafted remixes giving a song a whole different spin. The second, smallest category, what Jon b calls "warps,” features a couple of mash-ups where one or both songs involved are manipulated by the addition of drums and alterations in tempo, pitch and cadence. For example, Big L is slightly slowed, while Mobb Deep become chipmunks, making the warps much more warped than the remixes, although they are otherwise pretty similar. The final category is made up of original songs, with two fairly safe instrumental interludes and a few vocal tracks from Canuck MCs Max Prime, Touch, Mindbender and Corvid Lorax. It’s these latter four songs that are the special treat of this compilation, demonstrating what he can do when collaborating with a rapper. Perhaps next time the whole thing will be originals but for now, these interesting reinterpretations will have to do as filler, albeit of the high quality variety. (Independent)