Pete Rock Petestrumentals

As a member of the duo Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Mount Vernon NY's Pete Rock carved out a reputation as one of hip-hop's finest producers. His downright funky tracks - often fronted by the signature sound of echoing horns - proved to be highly influential, spawning a number of copycat sounds in the ensuing years. After recording two albums and an EP (including the classic Mecca and the Soul Brother), the duo parted ways to the dismay of heads everywhere, but Pete Rock has occasionally resurfaced to serve up some of his sumptuous flavour. This release is the second in BBE's quickly burgeoning Beat Generation series; unlike the first guest Jay Dee, and as the title suggests, Pete keeps things largely instrumental by only inviting MCs on a couple of tracks. The rhyming input is clearly inferior in the face of the aural pleasure delivered by the self-proclaimed Soul Brother #1. The tight drums and bass-flooded tracks will be instantly recognisable to those knowledgeable of Pete's style, and he extends this familiarity to the samples he sprinkles in the mix. On "Play Dis At Night," he shows the Minnie Ripperton sample A Tribe Called Quest freaked on "Check The Rhime" and then proceeds to chop it up and rearrange it in his own inimitable style. But Pete has added a few wrinkles to his repertoire as well. Consistent with his more recent appearances, he has toned down the use of horns, and on this project there's no barely tolerable offbeat rhyming or excited yelps in the background. Instead, the focus is centred squarely on the tracks and despite a couple of lulls and overlong tracks, the intricate arrangements more than withstand the added scrutiny. He makes the arrangement of several elements sound like a deceptively simple outing and this slice of chilled-out head-nodding bliss will definitely do as a nice stopgap until the second edition of his Soul Survivor solo project hits the racks. (BBE)