Controller 7 Left Handed Straw

According to Controller 7's liner notes, Left Handed Straw "is by no means an album... think of it as a friendly reminder or... maybe a first introduction." Left Handed Straw is a collection of 35 untitled songs, skits, instrumentals and snippets that does serve as an introduction to the varied production sounds of Controller 7. The vocal tracks - whether they are tracks with guest vocalists rhyming or unwitting appearances caught on micro-cassette - are few and far between. Instead, Controller 7 opts for numerous instrumental tracks that wisely sample from a wide range of source material and rarely run more than two minutes. The one thing nearly all the tracks have in common is a heavy emphasis on drums. Whether creating a trip-hop, jazz, drum & bass or hard hip-hop track, Controller 7 creates complex drumbeats that constantly transform - and usually with heavy drum sounds, too. The songs with rhymes - mostly by Anticon-related artists - all prove that Controller 7 can sound good for more than two minutes and that he can set MCs up with some dope beats. The best of those is the trip-hop song (track #23), which features Deep Puddle Dynamics (I think). Left Handed Straw is a great album to listen to either intently, as background music or to inspire your own creative juices. And, as a bonus, the artwork is from the Dose One School of Art - which means it comes very personalised. (Independent)