Vocalist Shubzilla and producer Bill Beats invite you for Dinner And A Movie.
A legitimate artist in her own right, Shubzilla also became the fifth official core member of Nerdcore, international collective, Torrentz during the writing process for their last album Nerdcore International. Bill Beats is likely to be best known as one third of Death*Star. Taking a break from Nerdcore the two have combined forces for an upbeat, summer vibe adventure, but it’s not the first time the two have collaborated.
Bill Beats’ ability to splice up soulful samples has often been present in Death*Star releases, though perhaps overshadowed by other influences at times. Opening track Empty is a fine indication that the project has allowed him to indulge this aspect of his skill set. Shubzilla provides clever wordplay through her trademark matter-of-fact delivery that compliments the easy going vibe that remains throughout each of the ten tracks (including skit and instrumental interlude).
American architect, interior designer and author, Frank Lloyd Wright provides an interesting starting point in an epic online quest for knowledge and the subject matter for track two. Giving his name to the title of the song, Subzilla manages to bring the narrative full circle in a way I find immensely satisfying. The production technique I know only as the chipmunk effect (forgive my ignorance) is in evidence in both Frank Lloyd Wright and Fire. Whilst providing a catchy chorus for the former the effect grates a little on the latter, a romantic entry in the tracklist.
Borrowed Love unashamedly takes it’s cues from eighties pop music with synth drums reminiscent of the era and a chorus that promotes flashbacks of school discos, chinos and ignoring girls. Never a fan of the era or the music I should be skipping a track ahead, and yet Shubz’s raps, also reflecting an old-school vibe, keep me listening. Back on safer ground Intermission cuts up a famous old-time movie commercial in this instrumental interlude timed about right at just over a minute.
A wicked beat and interesting vocal sample forms the basis of Round & Round whilst a far more serious tone is set for the next track From Home as Shubzilla highlights the struggles of breaking through backwards looking cultures. Almost a natural antidote to the previous track, Jump N Such encourages a ‘seize the moment’ mentality over an infectious kick/snare beat and subdued backing track. For the first time on this release, though, I find Shubzilla’s vocals feeling a little isolated in the mix. Whilst strong they’re not full and don’t really bed into the track as well as on others. Regardless, Jump N Such is my stand-out track and should, if played, get people bouncing on the dancefloor.
The album closes out with the gently paced and aptly titled Closing Credits that succinctly describes that end of the night routine we all know so well.
Though lacking a little in diversity and without pushing boundaries Dinner And A Movie is a fine example of an indie hip-hop album that appeals to my tastes. I like clean loops and samples that are blended with old-school beats. I like the soulful vibe that Bill Beats infuses into his tracks and the way he sparingly mixes in the cuts. Equally I like the dryness of Shubzilla’s delivery and the ease with which she flows coupled with thought provoking lyrics. I like, but can’t extend as far as love.
If you like all of those things too then your $5 would be well spent over at their bandcamp page.