Innerstance.Beatbox: Your Eyes Are Like UFO's, My Darling
Consumers Research & Development

On Your Eyes Are Like UFO's, My Darling, Innerstance.Beatbox, just one of many guises donned by Milwaukee-based Jason Todd (others include Vanishing Systems, and Def Harmonic), mixes hip-hop, jazz, and soul into a fresh fusion guaranteed to rub instrumental hip-hop heads in all the right places. Fans of Prefuse and Malcom Kipe will find much to like here, though Innerstance.Beatbox exhibits a slightly stronger predilection for soul-jazz and fusion than his brethren.

Oozing tasty soul flavour, gulping ‘70s synths twist and slither through buckshot beat hiccups in “Think Again” while “Hi-Sci” casts a potent spell with an enticing throwdown of harp swirls and funk stutter. An aromatic Eastern scent wafts through the loping strut of “Theme from Bastard Squad” before electric piano hijacks the song into soul-jazz and finally fusion zones. “Astor Street” and “This is the Power” ooze a slippery soul-fusion-funk punch and laid-back lurch, respectively, with both enlivened by some nice turntable action. The tough boom-bap of “Helium Disco” appeared previously on the label's supremely dope Hazardous Materials comp but has lost none of its luster. After the gentlemanly Todd ever-so-politely requests “more laser in my monitor please,” the track barrels forth with a ten-ton crunch, infectious exhortations, and furious scratching.

Be aware that with seven tracks totaling a mere thirty-one minutes, the ride's over fast—though that's not necessarily a bad thing: rare are the days when we bemoan an album's brevity rather than decry its bloat. How splendid, then, to report that Your Eyes Are Like UFO's, My Darling leaves you wanting more, not less.

October 2005