Mikedecline Calmmunicate

Vancouver, BC producer mikedecline returns with another oddly titled half-hour of instrumental hip-hop. Composed primarily of jazz and soul samples, Calmmunicate is a chill, laidback album that lives up to its name. His sampling of soulful (sometimes sped-up) singing and K-Rec's cutting of memorable hip-hop quotables serve as suitable substitutes for live singers and rappers. It also gives the music room to breathe and grow. While K-Rec's cuts are better integrated with the rest of the music on this album, and often done quite subtly, some of the bigger, braggier cuts can be a bit jarring alongside the mellower music. He has a good intro with "People Words," the pitched-up soul singing and familiar samples an easy draw, but the highlights are "G'd Up with Your Feet Up," especially when what sounds like a kazoo kicks in, accompanied by harmonized hums, and "Stan Mikita (You're Still my Brother)," which is just a touch groovier, as R&B meets hockey organ and bongo drums. Despite these highlights, Calmmunicate, like Umbrellatons before it, is meant to be played as one long piece, the digital album once again containing the separate songs and a one-track continuous mix of the album. This is perfect for rainy days or Sunday afternoons. (Phonographique)