Friday, May 09, 2008

"Craft of the Lost Art" by Shape of Broad Minds

With an ever-shifting roster of main players, guest stars, and dual personalities, Shape of Broad Minds is a difficult collective to pin down. Their debut full-length "Craft of the Lost Art" touts Jneiro Jarel, Panama Black, Jawwaad, Rocque Wun and the mysterious Dr. Who Dat? as its main contributors while featuring the likes of MF DOOM, Count Bass D, Stacy Epps, and Lil Sci aka John Robinson.

Jneiro Jarel says this is "real, it come from the depths" on what could be the album's shiny little gem, "Buddafly Away," and it seems to be the feeling that pervades the album. Mixing up atmospheric vibes and space-age-y rhythms with a traditional hip-hop flow to the lyrics, "Craft of the Lost Art" is a journey to the outer limits of hip-hop and back. The futuristic, off-the-beaten path vibe on a lot of the songs is reminiscent of Dr. Who Dat?'s 2006 album "Beat Journey" and fans of that album will probably welcome the addition of more lyrics to these ultramodern sounds.

"OPR8R" brings an Outkast-like harmony to the table and "Buddafly Away" presents a gritty tribute to the true artists across the hip-hop spectrum. "Let's Go" featuring MF Doom is hyped as the dance-floor track of the record but comes off more cacophonous than anything but in an incredibly pleasing way. The rich textures of the songs on Shape of Broad Minds "Craft of the Lost Art" seem appropriate for 2007, 2107 and beyond. If you happen to be time-traveling in the near future, chances are you'll hear this album on planets across the galaxy.

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