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El-P with The Blue Series Continuum – High Water [Mark]

Anyone out there who is familiar with the musical intricacies of the Def Jux label and the true roots of Hip-Hop would’ve seen this coming…


I consider myself to be very informed about such things, but there have been very special circumstances in my life that have brought such information to light for me – touring, digging in crates from coast to coast in search of the music that the most famous of producers use as influence, not to mention spending many months as the tour manager for one of the baddest Jazz trios in the country – all of these things have prepared my consciousness for the delivery of such an album as the newly released “High Water (Mark)”, a live Jazz interpretation of compositions created by one of the hottest underground producers in the market today, El-P. The album, performed by The Blue Series Continuum, couldn’t have sounded more perfect for what it is – an ode to the heart of Jazz, brought to light from beneath the streets of New York City.

Having been to several Def Jux shows, I wonder how many fans are going to understand this latest foray into the world of boundary-breaking music, but the fact remains that El-P is a qualified composer and top-of-the-line producer – just read the credits on his previous albums; both Cannibal Ox’s “Cold Vein” and his own “Fantastic Damage” were composed and produced entirely by him, with no samples used except for scratches.

If he hadn’t already done it (which I think he has), this album ensures that the art of this contemporary Hip-Hop producer will remain timeless – his willingness to open his ideas to interpretation and embrace that interpretation labels him as a true music lover, someone who not only embraces his roots, but waters them daily and sees results. Having put the music in the hands of others, El-P proves that even though we require independence to truly be ourselves, you can never forget where you came from, regardless of how far you’ve come.


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