Lone Catalysts The Catalysts' Files

The Columbus, OH, duo of J. Sands and J. Rawls has been steadily issuing twelve-inch singles and building their rep, culminating in the release of last year's Hip Hop full-length. The Catalysts' Files, however, isn't a follow-up in the true sense of the word. In fact, it's a compilation of unreleased B-sides and hard-to-find tracks the group made over the last few years. Producer Rawls (having worked with Black Star and released a well-received album of his own last year) is the better-known half of the duo, and his breezy mid-tempo tracks are simply soothing to the ear. Up and coming producer Geology fits right in with his superior contribution to his remix of "Won't Stop," featuring J-Live and Grap Luva. However, the most prominently featured MC, J. Sands, ably holds it down, mainly dropping thought provoking lines and executing concepts like "If Hip-Hop Was A Crime." Although the tracks drop off in quality towards the end, this release is a worthy investment for those looking for hip-hop capturing the jazzy spirit of the mid-'90s, and raises interest in Lone Catalysts' upcoming sophomore effort. (B.U.K.A.)