Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mabanua - Done Already Review

I was clicking around iTunes, just checking out artists and I ran into Japanese producer, Mabanua’s album, Done Already. After listening to some snippets I knew this was an album that I wanted to have in my collection. I did some additional research and saw that he was a drummer in Shingo Suzuki’s band, Oval; this was a good cosign because I was familiar with Shingo’s work. Done Already is a nu-soul/hip hop album that’s sure to please anyone that listens, and won’t have you asking, “Is it done already?” like some albums that were released in 2008.

This is the perfect album if you want spacey electro soul and hip hop all on one album. He starts off with the statement/demand Wake Up. This track starts off slowly and builds into a driven, hip hop instrumental with a sped up sample that commands a head nod. Once he’s gotten your attention he proceeds to deliver a buffet of some of the most diverse beats with ease and excellence. His production skills proven over the length of the album, he even puts on a drum clinic for you on Interlude #2 where he comes in sounding like Lenny White on Freddie Hubbard’s (R.I.P.) Red Clay. Mabanua also does a fantastic job of selecting artists to appear on this opus; never once is there a mediocre artist.

Mabanua’s project shines brightly on the tracks with guest appearances, which is fine because this is one half of the album (not including the interludes and songs less than 2 minutes). He does a great job of complimenting the artists on Done Already but my favorites are Him (Tamala) and Love Sick (Eshe of Arrested Development). I purchased this on iTunes so I don’t have the album credits, and there were two things that have definitely piqued my interest. Number one: For an album produced by a drummer, the keys are super stunning on this project. I did some research and noticed that keyboardist Kan Sano is on this project, but is never credited to a particular track. Was he an overall contributor? Number two: There are male vocals on some tracks (ex: Dream About You, Trap, For the Sign) which weren’t credited. Is this Mabanua? If so, this brother is a triple threat: singing drumming and production!

The production on Done Already at times draws comparisons to other artists, which isn’t a bad thing. At times, I can hear a Kev Brown (Live Show), Dwele (Liquid) and Flying Lotus (Him) influence, which doesn’t detract from the project. There are enough original Mabanua tracks to make you a fan, though, which I now am. I mentioned earlier as well that I purchased this album on iTunes so I don’t have the credits to know if there was any outside production on Done Already. This album is available at iTunes for 11.99 which is fantastic considering that it is a Japanese import and can cost as much as $50.00 and above. Go ahead, buy it and be Done Already! DJ Rahdu gives Done Already 6 out of 7 head nods.

*Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

More: I found this after the review...


Blogger Junior Star said...

Nice post. The video was a great addition.

January 8, 2009 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger ChocLitLuvJoi said...

His album is great. I didn't know much about Mabanua and from the name for some reason was expecting a DKD electronica type of feel; was pleasantly disappointed to find 'twas HipHopSoul-i. The production sounds really good, a la Spacek's Curvatia / Peter Hadar's Well Dressed For The Art Show. I was really feeling the guest appearances, never expected or knew they were on the album, as I listened blindly. That youtube post was the perfect Electric blue icing on top of this post. Great review.

Been listening to Done Already since I wake up and still cyaan't done.

6/7 on dis project

January 8, 2009 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger bT said...

I dig this I might have to cop this. Shingo Suzuki...damn, dude is dope...that Abstract Truth album is hot!

January 10, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

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