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Bay Area producer Amp Live has always been one to think outside the box in terms of his beats, from lacing his Zion I partner Zumbi with the freshest of tracks over the years, to remixing Radiohead to great critical acclaim. Unfortunately, his official solo debut, Murder At The Discotech, does not deliver like many of his previous works.

Producer compilations are usually a mixed bag, and at times can be hard to listen to as a cohesive album. In the case of Murder At The Discotech, we find Amp experimenting with different sounds and styles than he’s ever used before, employing a wide variety of artists on vocals. Unfortunately, this leads to a disjointed sound that plagues the album throughout, as many times it feels like he is just trying out the different features of his keyboards and drum machines.

Catering to the ever-finicky hipster scene, we find him incorporating all the elements of trendy Hype Machine worthy tracks, from autotune (“About To Blow”, featuring K. Flay) to B-More femcees (“Dropp” featuring Hot Tub) to blog house (“Blast Off”), yet not pulling it off as well as the artists that run the respective scenes. Songs like “Ugly” (feat. Yak Balz) and “Mad Man” strive to emulate the Def Jux sound, while other tracks just prattle on aimlessly (“Blast Off”, “Chick Pop”) searching for identity.

There are a few saving graces here, largely in part to collaborative artists that seem to know exactly what they wanted from Amp. Trackademics take control of “Gary Is A Robot”, a quirky electro-pop jam, while indie-chick rock song “Money Back Guaranteed” (feat. Rebecca of My First Earthquake) is the most professionally executed thing on the album. The massive posse cut “Hot Right Now” (feat. Dude Royal, Grouch, Fashawn, Eligh, Bambu, Zumbi, Chris Young) is as experimental as it gets, but the long list of guest emcees come correct sticking to the subject.

We’ve seen Amp Live prove himself time and again throughout his career with Zion I, always looking to go beyond the requisite formula of hip-hop music. It’s unclear exactly where things went wrong with Murder At The Discotech. Maybe it’s that these guests lack the chemistry that Amp shares with Zumbi, or perhaps he just ventured too far out into foreign territory and lost his way in the process. We haven’t given up on Amp Live, he’s always done his thing, but this one just simply missed the mark.

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1 Responses to "Amp Live – "Murder At The Discotech" – @@ (Review)"
  • I thought otherwise. Love the Album front to back. :)

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