Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sound Provided By DWG

Look at what arrived on my doorstep this morning. 8) "Say What" by Sound Providers, their brand new release on Diggers With Gratitude. If you don't know, the Sound Providers are a production duo (Jay Skillz and Soulo) that released some 12"s in the late 90's on the independent tip. Then, in the 2000s, they came back in a pretty big way on ABB Records and eventually wound up linking with an MC named Surreal, who is also featured on this release.

Now, I have to admit, I haven't made myself terribly familiar with work of the Sound Providers over the years. I mean, I've heard of them, and I think I've got a mixtape or two with a track from them on it; but I've never really sunk my teeth into their catalog. So getting the hook-up from DWG was the perfect opportunity, and I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised.

This is an interesting selection of their work, all previously unavailable on vinyl. The first two songs on the A-side feature Surreal. Track #1 is "Say What," an unreleased track recorded in 2009. This song, like all of their stuff, has a nice, light-hearted jazzy flavor. Surreal's flow is smooth and his rhymes are clever without being jokey:

"It's the funky rhyme writer,
You're never gettin' rid of me.
It's sorta like magic,
With the rhythmatic wizardry.
And all you wack rappers,
I'ma put you out your misery,
Because I'm gettin' busy
From the Caymans out to Italy.
Was from the islands,
Grandfather from Sicily;
Now you know a little bit of history.
I'm top billin'
So there's just no dissin' me;
Plus, I'm six-three,
You don't wanna see me physically."

It's just an all-around, relax and cool-out track that's just a little too catchy to play the background. No matter what you're doing, you'll find yourself focusing on the music when this song is playing.

Next up is "Nuff Said," originally recorded in 2007 and intended to be a new bonus track for a single off of their True Indeed album. That single never made it out, though, and this song was shelved 'till now. This song's a little harder - just slightly - with a some funkier and dustier sounding samples. Surreal comes nice again, and the hook features some nice scratching of the classic "Top Billin'" question, "what more can I say?"

Finally, flip this over and you get an older track. "Who Am I?" was their fourth single released in 2001, and this remix was previously only available on a Japanese best-Of CD. This track pre-dates The Sound Providers affiliation with Surreal and instead features NY MC Grap Luva on the mic. Grap, if you don't know, is Pete Rock's brother and part of INI. This one features some slick piano samples over some very laid-back percussion. Grap plays it subtle, favoring a smooth flow over attention-getting lines. Soulo gets on the mic for the second verse and comes nice, too... He kinda reminds me of a more under-stated Bobbito.

This is DWG's third 7" release, and like the others, is limited (to 350 copies), but priced like a standard, not-limited release. I understand that DWG are sold out of it, so you can no longer order it from them directly, but it can still be ordered from other online vinyl shops like vinylism and hhv. And I have to say, after finally getting some of their music on wax: I always knew Sound Providers were a good, worthwhile group. But this has really got me wanting to get my hands on some more of their catalog now.

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