"Belle" The Park
Song of the Day Saturday, September 24, 2011
The Park, “Belle”
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when, but, at some point recently, the ‘90s electronic microgenre trip-hop became cool again. Clams Casino, whose beats have bumped their way into mixtapes by Lil B and Soulja Boy, channeled Mo' Wax via Burial on his recent EP for the witchy Tri Angle label. Dipset producer Araabmuzik, meanwhile, has been feeding classic trance into his MPC and flashing back on '90s chill-out rooms. And on "Belle," the Bay Area group The Park stake their position somewhere between DJ Shadow's Endtroducing… and Tortoise's moody post-rock, worrying away at minor-key guitar and Rhodes chords over a shuffling drum beat, with just enough backmasked guitar to lend a psychedelic shimmer. The Park aren't your typical beatmakers, but rather a full band, providing the rhythm section on stage and in the studio for rappers Big K.R.I.T. and Freddie Gibbs as well as soulful eclecticists like Nino Moschella and Alice Russell. Accordingly, there's no mistaking "Belle" for the product of a laptop: it breathes as only the music of a full band can. Maybe, along with trip-hop, acid jazz is about to get a rewind of its own. -- Philip Sherburne
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