Oddisee / Various Instrumental Mixtape Vol. 2

For more than a minute now, Washington DC native Oddisee has been turning heads and moving feet with spot-on musical creations for the likes of J-Live, Talib Kweli, Little Brother and Wordsworth, quietly building his name with a rich music palette rooted firmly in soul. A follow-up to last year’s Instrumental Mixtape Vol. 1, this second instalment delivers more of the same, stringing together a collection of classic, unreleased and exclusive instrumentals into a mixed set that runs as though it were a planned album. Whether this speaks to an obvious trademark or sameness within his creations is debatable, but what can’t be debated is the quality here. There’s no slouch to Oddisee’s beats, which snap like a cracking whip whether dealing with a mellowed out soul groove or a no business, street corner cipher cut. The producer’s intricate rhythm patterns give each track that added swagger, while a variety or vocal samples, marching band horns, organ melodies and even raging electric guitars allows each song to stand on its own, without the need for an MC. That said, imagining which of your favourite lyricists could do the most damage with some of the grade-A material included here is almost as much fun as running through this underrated beatsmith’s latest showcase. (Halftooth)