Ming and FS Subway Series

Cross-pollinating drum & bass, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, electro, turntable-ism and, um, the kitchen sink (i.e. trumpets, flugelhorns, guitars, Moogs and a didgeridoo) into a genre they've aptly dubbed "junkyard," Hell's Kitchen duo Ming + FS return with Subway Series. Apparently inspired by "the events of 9/11," the pair have decided to represent their anxious hometown by dropping an all-borough album filled with New York underground players like Dr. Israel, B-Boy Speedy and Baba. The concept itself comes off as pretentious, and fusions of this type typically try too hard. But by keeping a foot planted firmly in planet hip-hop and avoiding any direct terror references, Subway Series manages a perfect balance of precise beat architecture, focussed flows, subtle scratching and an awesomely open-minded breakbeat philosophy. (Om)