Los Angeles’ very own Cold Busted, brings us smooth, instrumental hip-hop from Japan through the moniker Pigeondust, and beat-maker, Yuta Yamaoka, delivers 17 instrumental tracks on his debut album, Moon, Wisdom & Slackness. Simplicity goes along when perfected, and Pigeondust’s album is centralized around simple beats.
The collection of creamy beats starts off with the track “1995,” paying obvious homage to a classic feel that emerged in hip-hop from the 80s-90s, and defined that genre. The starting track defines the whole tone of the set yet to come, and this track isn’t excessive in it’s flow at all, yet contains a valuable hook to get one’s head nodding and wanting more. It slows down with the same tone as the previous track into a loop entitled, “Loop.” Genius. Building on “1995,” this track subtly adds more elements into the mix; horns, keys, and gentle pauses leading up to something more, which is “Galacticos 1994.” The reason I mentioned the first three tracks are due to their relation, building up from the same tone, and luckily they are short tracks to appreciate this mix, and transitions. If not, I am more than sure some listeners would drift astray in the receptiveness.
All leading up to the featured track,”Harps.” It is gentle in it’s own way, possibly carrying bad news in an angelic way, due to the prominent drums, which stand out more than the beauty of the harps.
Some tracks can’t be distinguished from the others, and show no room for “growth.” Expectations are high after hearing the song “A Night Thought,” a collaboration between Pigeondust and Sugarloaf. This should be the featured track as this track contains fundamental components of sounds that display the true art of production, timing, and having an ear. After this track, it is hard to compare.
Other great tracks that posses special traits are “Lives In The Clouds,” “Here Comes Midnight,” which has a bass and interesting samples that must be repeated. Introductions are also interesting throughout this album, such as the intro on “Stars Falling.” I find it creative and lucid, also noting the songs audible recreation of stars falling- possibly against time – which also plays with a strong vivid sense. “The Life” is lively and explorative in sounds, in an upbeat manner.
“Knife In A Pocket,” is another great standout track. The switch and mix of the song as it becomes half-way, is a playful, and clever way with sounds as it effortlessly transitions back to keys, and an exasperated low voice, on loop.
Ending the album on the opposite side of how it started, is another collaboration, between Pigeondust and Hakobune, entitled “Coda.” Another featured worthy track to appreciate the art of samples and different ears joining forces. The smoothness, and jazz quality, wrapped in keys and a strong “hip-hop” beat, are a flawless combination.
This album feels good from beginning to end, and revolve around an older notion heard in the beginning of hip-hop, which is great to hear once again, transformed. Despite thinking some songs contained a small repetivness, all were without criticism alone, and only as a collective is what drew those thoughts. Once hearing the stand-out tracks, it is hard to be satisfied with those “repetitive” tracks, and can only expect and want more from Pigeondust. A well developed ear, and obvious love of different music samples, mainly old school hip-hop. With a great debut album, one can only set the bar high for future work, as Moon, Wisdom & Slackness, is definitely an album worth checking out.