'Werdz'/'Unmentionable' Flying Pupa, from 12" single (Guntez Records, 2000) & Miles Davis 'Sweet Pea'

Bringing together three well-known Canadian MCs – Kardinall Offishall, Choclair, Saukrates – and two Japanese producers (Dj Ando and DJ Yujiro) these two tracks from a 12” single offer up interest in the way the music purposefully under-uses the various elements.

For the opener, the lower notes receding, there’s a kind of sleepiness to the sound, despite the dominance of the beat and an overall gentleness to the production despite the lyrics (which are kind of straight-forward, very familiar - reflecting an era, a style, a way of presenting - appropriate and what you’d expect with so nice touches, like the play on ‘stereo’ and the line: ‘work, vision, innovation, sensation’).

But I especially like the way the producers allowed the trumpet to be barely there, using a Miles Davis sample ‘Sweet Pea’ from his 1967 Water Babies album …

in a way that favours modesty and a very smooth lack of momentum, allowing the music to just be there. Track two: the instrumental ‘Unmentionable’ is really lovely for me, meditative and surprising in parts.

Take, for example, the section that runs from 5’20” onwards; the beat and three-note sample is allowed to take centre-stage, to be joined by a kind of submerged swirling sound and the piano that when it re-appears seems disorganised, lacking focus and messy. Found in all of this is a manipulation of notions of density and lightness right up until the end.