Sepalot Red Handed

Sepalot Red Handed
Famed German producer Sepalot attempts to take his "hip-hop and beyond” aesthetic international with his debut solo set Red Handed, a record that definitely delivers on that ideal, incorporating a staunchly electronic groove not often associated with the genre. Warm, engrossing synths, thick bass lines and layered, tech-y beats feature heavily in Sepalot’s sound, one that borrows heavily from ’80s electro futurism fused with traditional hip-hop and soul structures. MCs Blu and Saigon follow Frank Nitty (sans Dank) in kicking things off over two of the record’s toughest beats ("Surrender” and "Did It Again,” respectively) but things quickly trail off into shuffling synth soul ("Liquid Embrace”), old school funk ("Summerset”) and even horn-blasting swing interpretations ("Go Get It”). The productions are dynamic, with subtle string touches, muted trumpets and unobtrusive cuts sprinkled sparingly into the mix, while Sepalot’s penchant for rhythmic experimentation helps keep this disc fresh from beginning to end. (Compost)