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by
1 January, 2001@12:00 am
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Looking two solidify his name as one of the underground’s premier beatmakers, one-half of Lone Catalysts displays his essence in less than fourteen tracks. Producer J. Rawls extends his musical mission beyond that of just The Lone Catalysts, enlisting some of the underground’s favorite rookies to shine on his tracks.

Naturally, Rawls’ partner J. Sands seems to work best to his production, adjusting well with his producer, as the Lone Catalysts have tightened up their sound for newer selections such as “Birds of a Feather” and “Lone Catalysts (Remix)”. J-Live also sounds completely natural on “Great Live Caper”, a track that is excellent visually as it is sonically. Indy favorites such as All Natural (“Cold Turkey”), The Unspoken Heard’s Asheru (“Nommo”) and half of the Polyrhythm Addicts, Apani B-Fly Emcee & Mr. Complex (“Far Away”) also blend well with Rawls’ jazzy grooves.

Some of the selections, while remaining good hearted, still remain a bit generic, as selections from Mass Influence , Rubix , Dose One , Fat Jon , and Holmskillit don’t tend to break any new ground. Whether it’s the fault of the producer, or the emcees, as to who didn’ deliver, is arguable, as the blame can be put on either side for not shining quite as bright as some of the other songs. And while Rawls’ idealistic sound of vibes and stuff is appreciated, he has yet to master the craft. His sample selections are continual evidence of a firm dedication to digging, but unlike some of his peers (Jay Dee , DJ Spinna , Hi-Tek), he has yet to develop a clearly recognizable signature style to call his own. Nevertheless, while only an early blueprint of what Rawls has to offer, it’shonest in nature, and it’ only a matter of time before he has tweaked his style to perfection.

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