No Luck Club Happiness

The fact that the Chan Brothers have their own weekly radio show must give the Vancouver duo a slight advantage over other producers, seeing as they get their hands and ears on all forms of music that comes through the station. Happiness is the pair’s first release as No Luck Club and even though the deep bass lines and mass amounts of cutting and scratching will easily lump them into the hip-hop category, this full-length manages to dabble in all forms of audio. With humorous remarks dropped through vocal samples and theme-based cuts, Happiness is a clever little record that will surely take the Chan Brothers an extra notch above the onslaught of instrumental scratch DJs coming out of the woodwork. The siblings teach us the fine art of choosing wine for the right occasion in "Wine Tasting,” lumping connoisseurs’ quibbles with appropriately jazzy beats and upright bass. They teach us how to be commanding rock stars through cut-ups of Mark Knopfler licks in "Rock Guitar” and how not to pick up the ladies in both "Lousy Lover” and "Hong Kong Swinger.” The entire record is filled with witty, well-constructed jams from start to finish, with each track telling a story, all in a unique way, from country to pop music, all with a hip-hop twist. The absolute gem of Happiness is "Crime Story,” with an array of gunfire and classic gangster slang, capped off with an unforgettable vocal sample that will not leave your head for weeks. They reach beautiful levels of ambience with "Percussion Funktion” that even some of the finer electronic-based down-tempo producers have trouble reaching. Things do tend to get a little carried away at times though and the record can sound silly at times, but the gorgeous moments that give you goose bumps are more than enough to keep this one in the mix for repeated listens. (Ill Boogie)