Spec. The Infamous Album

Spec. The Infamous Album
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Spec. is producer Timm Ewest of Stuttgart, Germany. With a few EPs behind him, he's taken on the audacious task of creating his debut album of tech-house from Mobb Deep samples (using Havoc's USB stick).
 
The result is almost as dark as the source material, channelling the minimalist tension of Havoc's original production style (so well-suited to Mobb Deep's harsh street-realism). Perhaps the darkest track is "Black Cocaine," which opens with Ice-T's "This is not supposed to be positive…" intro rant, and is then carried by the mechanical percussion and dirty bass sample.
 
Unfortunately, the word "mechanical" also applies to much of the rest of the album, as Spec. seems reluctant to alter the original samples or lose their character, resulting in static loops that seem cut and pasted together at times. The string pad on "Intro" never even gets the slightest filter sweep, and even though the organ stabs on "Hightimes" do get a bit of sweeping, the same sample repeats for the entire seven minutes. Hopefully his next outing allows him more freedom to develop and play with texture. (Infamous Tracks)