Originally published in the LA TIMES. California Sounds
The rapper Blu appears on "Oscillations," a new collection of L.A. beat music. (Blu)
Various Artists, “Oscillations” (Strange Neighbor/Fat Beats).
This seven-track collection from a Highland Park beat-music imprint mixes and matches a crack team of underground producers, rappers and singers to create a cohesive sound that the label describes as a “cosmic light of Los Angeles-based artists.”Those include outre-R&B singers Georgia Anne Muldrow, Jimetta Rose and Nia Andrews; rappers Blu and MED; and woozy, psychedelic production from Teebs, Swarvy, Mndsgn and Dizz1.
Australian beat maker Dizz1 works the three opening tracks, providing quirky, jumpy, choir-sampling beats in support of recent Brainfeeder signee Muldrow and the San Pedro-raised lyricist-rapper Blu. , Another, “Hard to Breathe,” is a tambourine-dotted bed upon which the Madlib-connected Oxnard rapper MED rhymes and L.A.-born singer Rose offers a memorable hook. The closing track, by the singular beat maker and visual artist Teebs, is a treble-heavy instrumental that sounds like rain beating down on hollow bamboo.