Ta'raach & The Lovelution The Fevers

Detroit native Ta’raach McMathis (aka Lacks) was plying his wares DJing on the west coast before literally being dragged into the production game by a pair of genre-shaping pioneers from his hometown: Carl Craig and J Dilla. Today, the invaluable schooling of those two musical luminaries is front-and-centre as the forward-looking producer/MC drops his premiere long-player, The Fevers. Together with a rotating cabal of backing players, Ta’raach continues down the progressive path of his mentors, blending a nuanced sonic palette and reaching arrangements with a lyrical mix of gritty thug raps, thoughtful commentary and a few soulful, introspective slow-burners. The Dilla influence is undeniable on cuts like "I Name,” as a subtle futuristic siren sound adds texture to the thick, choppy bass line and tough beat that anchor the cut behind Fuzz Scoota’s forgettable stock hustler tales. This musical tact continues on "The What What,” with its digitised bass sounds, layered synth atmospherics and freaked vocal samples, and on the spacious, slow-mo sex-strumental "Fuck Music.” Ta’raach smoothes things out on the syrupy "Liberation’s Lullabye,” assisted by vocalist Joy Jones’s sweet musings, before bringing it home with "Hold On,” a cut that opens with a crawling dub groove before evolving into a mid-tempo banger, as the mic-wielding beatsmith drops his own lyrical jewels about an ill-fated teenage love affair. What you find by disc’s end is that, despite his many guests, things come off better when it’s just Ta’raach. Maybe next time we’ll get a little more of that. (Sound in Color)