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dr who dat? - Beat Journey
Putting pay to the notion that all Dr Who fans are wan broadband addicts continually obsessing over the merits of Bonnie Langford (we're just kidding!), Jneiro Jarel has decided the Cybermen need a different beat to stomp to - with his alter-ego Dr Who Dat? eschewing any hint of Delia Derbyshire in favour of broiled hip-hop flavours. Steeped in the the humid rhythms of an idealised 1970's hip-hop shindig taking place in the Bronx, Jarel then chucks in a fizzing vial of influences that fully encompass his time spent traveling - with the various locales he's called home (Houston, Maryland, Arizona, Georgia...) all weighing with some meat, whilst a distinct South American carnival atmosphere pervades throughout. Often a water-treading tactic, MC-less hip-hop albums can readily descend into break mired tail-chasing - yet thanks to a keen ear for what works and a seemingly intuitive use of samples, Dr Who Dat? packs a tardis full of free-wheeling sonics into 'Beat Journey'. Vivid to the point of sunburn, the elements used throughout 'Beat Journey' may be familiar (some bleached breaks here, a jazz horn there, some Brazillian percussion to top it off), but Jafrel balances each against the other until you're left with a thickly spread compote of hip-hop harmony. Kicking off with the b-boy eaves drop of 'Beat Rock', Dr Who Dat? then incrementally layers up beats to hit you with a loping predilection that brings to mind DJ Shadow's rimy best or Madlib at full-flow - wherein the soul textures and jazz flourishes massage a needle-cracked tempo deep within your cranium. From here, other notable highlights include the sunny-side up vigour of 'Braziliant Thought', the after-hours vibe of 'March To Viberia' and the cold-water beef of Kelly Drive' - all managing to walk that fine line which appeals equally to diehard hip-hop heads and instrumental aficionados in equal measure. With a new vocal album due soon, his band Shape Of Broad Minds beginning to make waves and the likes of Q-Tip, DJ Spinna, The Pharcyde and King Britt all clamoring to get involved, Dr Who Dat? is on a journey into the musical vortex. Exterminate!