The Considerate Builders Scheme: Exit to Riverside

On Exit To Riverside, Cape Town, South Africa resident Justin de Nobrega trades in his Seven Ark IDM style for the tightly wound instrumental hip-hop of The Considerate Builders Scheme. Though the disc's material might remind some of Timbaland and The Neptunes, the album is more heavily indebted to the loping hiccup-funk of Prefuse 73 and Dabrye. But if de Nobrega's tunes are reminiscent of their work, he brings his own fresh spin to the music's slippery head-nodding bounce. Throughout the album's eleven cuts, heavy bass lines burrow and bleep, backbeats slam and slide, distorted voices croak, and strings hypnotically cycle.

What ultimately recommends the set above all else is de Nobrega's ear for detail. There's almost an Arabian swing to the strings in “We Got It Down,” for example, while skankily plucked guitar figures lend a bluesy slant to the blunted “And Five.” Even better, listen to the interstitial voice inhales he slyly works in between cowbell accents and clapping beats during “Three Beats Short.” Admittedly tracks like “Back Space” are so close to Dabrye's style, Mullinix could sue for copyright infringement (“Riverton Road” might well be the mutant first cousin to One/Three's “Hyped-Up Plus Tax”), but the observation prompts an even more curious thought: Given the visionary caliber of Dabrye's material, why haven't more artists succumbed to his influence?

March 2006