By: Rebecca Douglas
Break Science has just produced a new EP for New York music pioneers.
The EP, entitled Further Than Our Eyes Can See, is a dynamic representation of the diverse people and ideas that make up New York City.
Why is the project so perfectly New York? Well, to begin with, all of the featured artists on the EP are New York City based. Brooklyn’s Jahdan Blakkamoore lends his rhymes, Harlem’s Julexa adds her “ghettotech” style vocals, and local Hindi musician Falu provides her classically trained Indian voice. But the EP isn’t just geographically New York; the record overflows with the city’s most defining quality—cultural alchemy.
Like everything New York, you can’t just pigeonhole Break Science. The two men team up to bridge the gap between musical genres. Borham Lee mixes samples on his keyboard and laptop in a way that is uniquely electronic. Adam Deitch sits next to him, banging away at his drum set and laying down breakbeats that would make any hip-hop artist want to bob their head. Together, they draw from the mass of cultural resources that make New York City great.
The first song on the EP features Talib Kweli, an artist whose very name represents a meshing of cultures—his first name is Arabic and his last name is Swahili. He lays down clever rhymes over a hot, rumbling bass. “I really don’t give a fuck, like a celibate chick,” he sings. Sexy, otherworldly rifts float over his voice. Lee cleverly chops up and loops his samples as Deitch provides his strong, unpredictable percussion.
Later songs on the EP go deeper to capture New York City’s distinctive feel. “Move Ya Body” uses a beatboxing loop that alludes to the vocal percussion of New York’s hip-hop forefather Doug E. Fresh. Break Science adds Julexa’s vocals and some dirty-sounding rap and the track becomes very “New York City club.” But the song also has islandly feel that suggests a Jamaican influence. The track “Shanti” picks up on this Jamaican theme with its use of a reggae-style beat, but Break Science adds Falu’s distinctly Indian vocals and an atmospheric layer of funk in order to create a true bridging of cultures. The album is melded together with manipulated synth, rolling bass, of course, Deitch’s beats.
The project as a whole is reminiscent of RJD2’s similarly experimental 2002 album, Deadringer. Like Deadringer, Break Science meticulously folds these juxtaposing layers together in order to create something that is not only beautiful and easy to move to, but also metaphorically significant. The EP supplies the listener with the sound of a “new” New York: one that draws from the resources of the past and bridges them together to create something sexy, modern, and most importantly, representative of the city’s uniquely musical heartbeat.
Zion Station (featuring CX)
Download the entire Break Science - Further Than Our Eyes Can See album.
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