Dday One: Mood Algorithms
Content (L)abel

No more than forty seconds passes before Mood Algorithms, Udeze Ukwuoma's latest Dday One collection, kicks into gear, specifically when the beats blaze into position during the opening “Inner Passage,” a prototypical Dday One jam in its steamy blend of beats and jazz-derived sax, acoustic bass, and piano samples. Like Ukwuoma's recent Loop Extensions-Deluxe release, whose first iteration appeared in 2005, Mood Algorithms isn't completely brand new material. Instead, it's an update of early works he recorded in 1999 and originally circulated in a cassette format in a severely limited run of twenty copies. Restored in 2011 using modern technologies and newly digitized, the collection is as good a representation of the inimitable Dday One sound as one might hope to get in a single package.

In a typical Dday One cut, rainshowers of driving, ride cymbal-driven beats appear alongside the groan of the acoustic bass and the sprinkle of elegant jazz piano playing and percussive colourations. Hip-hop and funk rhythms abound in head-nodding tracks that convincingly approximate what might come out of a recording session involving a well-schooled hip-hop drummer and a ‘60s-styled acoustic jazz outfit. In tracks such as “Constant Information” and “Inner Passage,” voice samples appear to lend the tracks individuality and generate contrast. Not surprisingly, the dreamy “All is Bliss” opts for a slower tempo in its radiant, strings-heavy flow, while the funky title track, digital-only “Time Brings Variation,” and “As the World Watches” offer fine samplings of Dday One's on-point beatwork. Generations collide during the digital-only “History” when turntable cuts meet acoustic jazz samples, and Ukwuoma's love for jazz is evidenced not only in the crate-digging samples he excavates but in the very title of a vinyl crackle-drenched piece like “Trane's Progeny,” which, while firmly drawing upon the jazz tradition, surprisingly includes no saxophone playing. No matter: Mood Algorithms will satisfy those who like their instrumental hip-hop dusty, old-school, and raw.

January 2012