Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ST: Chrome Children Vol. 2

In 2006 Stones Throw jumped the gun on their 10 year anniversary and issued a compilation album, Chrome Children. Like Stones Throw affiliate MF DOOM's colab, Dangerdoom, Chrome Children was a joint project with [adult swim].

Following Chrome Children's success, Stones Throw released Chrome Children Vol. 2 for download in January. Copies of Vol. 2 were issued promotionally alongide RE: UP Magazine among others. Later, an unedited version appeared on itunes, and, as of yesterday, the album is now available in stores.

Vol. 2 contains 16 'new' tracks, about half of which are self-produced. Production credits on the other half include Madlib, Oh No, Four Tet, Koushik, and others. Although Stones Throw might be best known for their hip-hop artists, Chrome Children Vol. 2, like the original, features tracks from a variety of Stones Throw's artists (as well as their affiliate labels SoulCal and Now-Again) including jazz and soul artists like Chocolate Star, Gary Wilson, the late Clifford Nyren, and The Jazzistics (although most of these appear towards the end of the album). Unlike the first Chrome Children, Vol. 2 relies less on Stones Throw Ace-veteren Madlib; a sign of the labels diverse growth. (In 2006 ST released: 10 LP's, the most ever; and 32 total releases, second most).

Thanks partly to Madlib's Beat Konducta tracks and two Four Tet productions, Vol. 2 also exhibits a greater presense of electronic sounds. Baron Zen's Theme (Danny Breaks Remix) is mostly synthesizers, break beats, and a child's voice. Even Gary Wilson's Soul Traveling, reminiscent of films like Dolemite and Sweet Sweetback, fuses ambiant lasers and electronic strings. In the end, Vol 2. celebrates less of what Stones Throw has already done, and previews more of what's to come.

Higlights include Gary Davis' instrumental soul number Stay With Me by Chocolate Star, the Chi-town sounding Melton Brothers sample Living for the City by Roc 'C' (produced by Oh No), and Guilty Simpson's Money Motivated Movements.

Baron Zen - Theme (Danny Breaks Remix)

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