Riow Arai Mind Edit

Originally released three years ago in Japan, Mind Edit is proof that North America might be a little slow in playing catch-up when it comes to some of the truly innovative and downright fantastic hip-hop coming from the East. With a few albums under his belt, Riow Arai is by no means a newcomer to the scene, but this will definitely be the first taste of his mutilated and downright sinister beats for many. The Japanese producer could probably be best compared to the likes of Prefuse 73 for his habit of cutting his electronic drums into millisecond fragments and piecing them together rhythmically to create neck-snapping break beats. Another comparison could be El-P; Riow Arai has the knack to churn out incredibly dirty compositions that still have an underlying beauty to them. The tracks on Mind Edit are very simplistic and don’t take much shape after the initial bass and snare combo drops in the opening seconds. It’s best to look at this album as a break beat effort that is full of stunning loops — an absolute gem just ready for any daring MC to lay flows on top. Seeing as this is Riow Arai’s first official North American exposure, let’s hope that some spotlight is shone on this very talented producer and that he reaches DJ Krush levels of success, crafting joints for a long line of willing poets. (Leaf)