Pasobionic
Empty Beats for Lonely Rappers


4.5
superb

Review

by RunAmokRampant USER (8 Reviews)
January 26th, 2009 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A melancholic and beautifully arranged outing of intrumental hip hop that is experimental, yet not alienating, dark but not bleak.

My shift into instrumental hip hop has been significant over the past year or two. After really getting stuck into more recent outings by artists like Metaform, Blue Sky Black Death, PSY/opsogist among other similar artists that specialise in creating an atmospheric and musically diverse environment, I wanted to find something more localised from my area. I had heard of TZU, who are currently touring in this years Big Day Out festival, who are well acclaimed in the local hip hop community and utilise old school synths in which Rolling Stone Magazine praised their ability to ‘meld classic eighties electro with the more traditional funk keeping the emphasis on authenticity and class throughout’. However, what struck my attention was what the turntable dude was doing in his spare time (which I can’t fathom how much spare time he has with his commitments not only to TZU, but his other projects Curse Ov Dialect and Symbiotic Sound System). In early 2005, Pasobionic aka Shahab Tariq completed and released his debut album, Empty Beats for Lonely Rappers. Although it was well received by reviewers, it hadn’t received that much attention hence why it took me almost four years for me to stumble across Pasobionic when reading about TZU.

Most of the album consists of murky basslines, hypnotic and wonderfully sampled piano, xylophone, and guitar loops accompanied by organic and infectious drum rhythms. From haunting downtempo excursions into melancholy such as the title track and Empty Beat 1, to highly experimental ambient tracks like Dead Like the Young and the industrially dark Dislocated, to the downright evil circus escapade, Empty Beat 4, there is an overall haunted tone to the whole album, even with all the scratching and beautifully arranged guitars and strings. In particular Hollow Bones is a concentrated encapsulation of this tone and the aptly named track demonstrates Pasobionic’s awareness of this subtlety of tone and the ethereal. Everything is way too meticulous and painstakingly arranged for a clash of tone or feel

To compare this album with a similar artist, I’d have to say PSY/opsogist’s Suffused with Static would have to be the closest, which is probably highly debatable, but personally I find that both artists have an inclination for a progressive and ambient feel with more organic sampling rather than having a thick electronic disposition. But where Pasobionic excels is that the album as a whole flows so well even with the changes of theme. For example my personal favourite Echoes of Blue is the lonely uptempo track filled with fluttering xylophones and bass that somehow turns to the dark side when the piano kicks in, then melds with the uptempo rhythm for an intensely tasteful concoction that goes far beyond any lowly adjective.

This album, to put it simply, is an amazing achievement and instrumental hip hop of the highest calibre. It deserves a heap more recognition in a genre that is incredibly fascinating because it’s very foundation is exploratory in its use of sampling which requires the composer to be able to utilize those samples in such a manner that those samples becomes unrecognisable from their manipulation and new context. Fans of instrumental hip hop and ambient music, this is a must listen if you can get your hands on a copy.



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user ratings (1)
4.5
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
RunAmokRampant
January 26th 2009


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Here's Empty Beat 2 if you wanna listen

http://www.elefanttraks.com/gallery/mp3/pasobionic-empty_beat_2.mp3

TricksterGRex
January 26th 2009


2087 Comments


Nice, review could use a little more detail though. This sounds pretty interesting.

Willie
Moderator
January 26th 2009


16149 Comments


The Empty Beat 2 song is pretty good. It felt a little too sparse in places, but maybe I'm just not in the mood for this kind of music right now (I was just listening to Hatebreed).

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

TricksterGRex
January 26th 2009


2087 Comments


I thought it was pretty infectious. Gonna get the full thing now.

RunAmokRampant
January 26th 2009


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ya it is quite sparse in some songs hency why it would appeal to fans of ambient music.

Willie
Moderator
January 26th 2009


16149 Comments


I love ambient music. Like I said, I think my opinion is more to do with my frame of mind right now than the actual song. I plan on coming back to this later.

RunAmokRampant
January 26th 2009


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I see where you're coming from man. It's quite a moody album and nuanced in a specific way that it's best to listen to it not straight after listening to Hatebreed lol

kingsoby1
Emeritus
January 26th 2009


4957 Comments


it's best not to listen to anything instead of listening to hatebreed.
;-p
the review is okay, but it seems a bit mechanical.

TricksterGRex
January 27th 2009


2087 Comments


What a kvlt amount of comments kingsoby1.

RunAmokRampant
January 27th 2009


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ya some of the sentences are a bit too long and clunky and probs need a rewrite. I will edit this asap but it'll do for now I hope.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
January 27th 2009


862 Comments


Decent review, made it sound like something I'd be into. And for some reason I really, really like that track but can't pinpoint why.

timbo8
January 27th 2009


618 Comments


Instrumental hip hop has been very hit or miss with me, but I'll still try to check this out.



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