Populous Queue for Love

This Italian producer is putting heads to bed with the sleepy beats that are to be found on Queue for Love, but chilling out to some soft instrumentation seems to work rather well for Populous. Though deemed an ode to hip-hop of sorts in how crews like the Native Tongues would look to jazz records for inspiration, this collection of down-tempo tunes is more on the same wavelength as Four Tet and Hint than Gang Starr. The album starts off rather well as the oft-difficult Dose One, who can normally demolish your trip with his normally irritating flow, manages to come away with a rather nice pop number to set the table for the likes of Matilde Davoli. Studio Davoli’s songstress is the highlight of this record, simply weaving her lush tones throughout Populous’ minimal sounds, creating a summertime breeze that should have been used to a larger extent. Apart from those pair of collaborations, Populous flies solo and delves into some nice instrumentation that sometimes has a lasting effect, such as the upbeat and playful "Pawn Shop Close” and "Canoe Canoa,” which makes good use of acoustic samples. However, he then manages to fall asleep at the console with "Dance Hall Nostalgia,” which is just straight up boring and sounds like a pre-programmed reggae loop on a Casio. When left on alone, Populous has the ability to make some multi-layered journeys into sound, but chooses to just ride the break-beat tip other European cats did ten years ago. With more collaborations and broader strokes in his brushing, Populous has the opportunity to put Italy on the hip-hop map. (Morr)