Supreme Beings of Leisure 11i

After a five-year hiatus, Supreme Beings of Leisure mark their return with the release of a new disc with a decidedly distinct sound. The group disbanded after the release of their self-titled first album, giving Los Angeles natives Geri Soriano-Lightwood and Ramin Sakurai a fresh page to develop and release Divine Operating System, the band’s second effort, before delving into the seemingly standard world of remixes, collaborations and solo efforts. The time off served the duo well, allowing them to lay the framework for 11i, Supreme Beings’ third studio album, which falls quite nicely in terms of sound between the down-tempo, trip-hop mood from their self-titled effort and the upbeat, funk-infused rhythms found on Divine Operating System. It’s all too easy to fall into a stale, predictable sound in any genre, or to wrangle the slow sounds of ambient a bit too much when dabbling in down-tempo, but SBOL manage to avoid this pitfall by adding just enough punch to make 11i distinguishable (think Tricky, with a swift boost given to the beats). Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait another five years for the follow-up. (Rykodisc)