jdwalker - Our condition [Motion Recordings - 2002]While not always flawless, everything I heard from Motion Recordings thus far proved extremely interesting. One of the label’s latest release is an ep by jdwalker, full of demanding but rewarding hiphop...
jdwalker comes from Maine, USA and used to be in Live Poets with Anticon “ceo” Sole (his latest album is reviewed here) and Moodswing9. He seems to be the only one not to have reached “superstardom” yet, but judging from what I heard, it shouldn’t take him long. His other unit, Loganprojects has an album out (Character assassination, on Motion Recordings too) which will be reviewed here soon.
What’s striking when you listen to the first track for the first time is that jdwalker’s voice sounds a lot like Aesop Rock. Now this is not a problem since Aesop rapping is quite phat... The music on that track is very minimal, beats and a few sounds in the background, quite dark and melancholic I would say. Heartburn revisited is a killer track, jdwalker flow takes another dimension and convince the listener to totally and unconditionally get “into” the song and its vibe. Lullaby deserve its title: very quiet music, nice melody and jdwalker’s tired voice. A tad too sad to put a child to sleep. Omen opens on the sound of an electric guitar and turns out to be a little more upbeat (well, just a little). The 5th track melody sounds a lot like the music of a film I can’t remember the name. Like the rest of the album, it is a slow track with a strong melancholic vibe. The other tracks are instrumental versions of the first 3 songs of the ep, proving that the music on its own is truly excellent. At the end of the CD there is a bonus track which is really, really, REALLY good: a simple guitar melody (which, to my ears at least, sound kinda greek), a few beats and a distant voice in the background.
Somewhere between Anticon (à la Sole and Alias) and DefJux (the less ornamented El-P tracks), the Our condition ep really is a damn fine CD. jdwalker is said to be recording a full length, I’m looking froward to hear it, that’s for sure!François Monti