Paul White debuts ‘A Weird Day’ with One-Handed Music & Stones Throw
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Strange dreams and weird days. Paul White has had both in the two years since ‘The Strange Dreams of Paul White’ anointed him at the top of the churning pile of producers distilling the essence of J Dilla. You’d have feverish nightmares too if every review you read of your work lashed you with favorable but unfair comparisons to the deified ‘Donuts’ maker.
Indeed, White’s formal debut was certainly indebted to the late Detroit producer, but it also displayed a deep groove of its own, slanting to eerie psychedelic guitars, flying-saucer synthesizers, ‘The Warriors’ samples, and riffs on ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ so stellar that they could make Kanye turn Crimson.
Hailed in his native England and in the States, White earned a one-off deal with locally based Now Again. Flipping samples from little-known Eastern-inspired Swedish psych-rock guru S.T. Mikael to demented means, White displayed a versatility that allowed him to ditch the Dilla contrasts.
His third album, ‘Rapping with Paul White’ finds White appealing to his hip-hop roots, enlisting a litany of underground stars ranging from Stones Throw’s Guilty Simpson to Fools Gold hybrid Danny Brown, to lesser known English MC’s. It firmly establishes him as one of the finest producers in any genre. The music is inscrutable -- the raw manifestation of hip-hop’s post modern mission, atomizing the past and repackaging it into newly birthed nuclear components. A mixture of guest spots and his own wild style instrumental suites, one of the album’s highlights arrives on the Homeboy Sandman-aided ‘A Weird Day.’
Download: Paul White ft. Homeboy Sandman-'A Weird Day’ [MP3]
The latest signee to Stones Throw, the Queens-bred Sandman spins a surreal and whimsical tale of a trip to London, where he arrives at Heathrow in a pea coat bumping Paul White on repeat, visits the currency exchange to be burned on the poor conversion rate, and ends up being baffled by the metric system and the cramped conditions of the London underground. As always, Sandman raps with his predatory mongoose flow and uses the word ‘lift’ instead of ‘elevator.’ Bonus points for cultural understanding.
-- Jeff Weiss