2015 Dec 16     
2 Bit Thugs

Another winning effort from LA's under-rated Cold Busted stable, and now available on ultra-limited vinyl

Cold Busted are a label who don't get half as much attention as they deserve. Based in downtown Los Angeles, they turn out dusty trip-hop, lo-fi hip-hop, wonky jazz and other leftfield/downtempo delights at a prodigious rate, yet the quality meter dips only very rarely. If you're a fan of labels like Stone's Throw or Freestyle, Cold Busted definitely need to be on your radar.

The quality meter certainly shows no sign of dipping on this latest offering from Boogie Belgique. Known to the taxman as Oswald Cromheecke, this purveyor of "abstract hip-hop and electroswing" (as he describes it) made his debut with Blueberry Hill on Dusted Wax Kingdom in 2012. Since then, he's released three more albums via Cold Busted - Nightwalker Vol 1, Nightwalker Vol 2 and Time For A Boogie - and now the label is reissuing his first opus and making it available on vinyl for the first time.

Where much 'electroswing' is essentially house with some jazz samples thrown at it, what you'll hear on Blueberry Hill is more akin to actual swing/jazz, but with the beats and basslines of contemporary dance music slipped carefully underneath. It's a subtle distinction, but an important one: it suggests a genuine love of (and reverence for) the music of yesteryear, and it means you can rest assured that Blueberry Hill never drifts into the realms of the cheesy and obvious. It also means, of course, that if jazz and swing are a turn-off for you - as they are for some - then this isn't going to be the album for you. But if you're a fan of jazzual stylings, you'll be happy to hear that this sits much closer on the spectrum to Jazzanova than to Gramaphonedzie.

Best of all - you can download the albumfor free via Boogie Belgique's Bandcamp page, though we'd heartily recommend forking out $10 for the remastered vinyl version. You'll have to be quick, mind – the latter is strictly limited to 100 copies.



Review Score: 8




Tags: Boogie Belgique, Cold Busted, jazz, electroswing