Tom C3 & Prince Po Saga Of The Simian Samurai

Organized Konfusion alumnus Prince Po returns with the follow-up to his last feature producer outing with Danger Mouse, this time joining forces with quirky San Francisco beat conductor Tom C3 for Saga Of The Simian Samurai. The two do a pretty good job of offering a different flavour with each track, with Po oscillating between coherent storytelling and more meandering stream of consciousness lyricism and Tom 3C forcing the MC’s hand flow-wise by serving up beats with creative time signatures. The producer’s grainy, lo-fi sound casts a dark shadow over the record that keeps the mood in check, and his adept use of rare cinematic and chucky rock samples, and vocal snippets — though a bit loopy and static — are definitely unique and mesh well with Po’s rhymes. Kool Keith and Motion Man drop in to tackle the doomsday soundscape of the appropriately titled "Apocalyptic Medicine,” and while the butter guitar riffs of "Bad Brainz” and "Now And Then” prove just how reliant this record is on dope sample selection, there’s certainly enough good in the finished product to give that fact a pass. (Threshold)