DJ Harrison & Friends- Polytoned (album)

Here's a really mind blowing mix of spaced out, jazz-funk driven, hip-hop and soul music (whew) entitled Polytoned from producer/multi-instrumentalist DJ Harrison. The set recalls the warm, lush sounds of 70's electric jazz yet each track has a decidedly dusty hip-hop grit glowing at its edges. After setting an almost ominous tone with the fluttering sounds of  "Jellowstone Intro" and sounding the alarm with the dizzying "Bitches Brew Tea", DJ Harrison segues into a heavy jazz-funk mode with the amazing "RVA Analog/ VA Nights". The cut starts as a body-moving funk groover that recalls the best work of Lonnie Liston Smith then morphs into a plush Fender Rhodes affair about halfway through. The appropriately titled "Change Directions" takes the stage next and allows DJ Harrison and friends to switch things up with a bluesy rock number that somehow manages to sound right at home on a mostly jazzy hip-hop sounding album. After suddenly venturing into the amplified realm of 70's rock, the album just as suddenly steers itself back into a jazzy hip hop lane with the tracks "Stuck Stone/JellowstoneJokes", "Rush Hour" and "Bubble Love". The whole album is filled with standouts, including the down-home soul number "My Frainds" and the way too short "On Time/Backwoods" which sounds like an unreleased Questlove/Georgia Anne Muldrow collaboration. At this point I think it's best to stop and let you get into the album for yourself, as I could probably wax poetic about this project for hours. So I suppose if there's one thing you should take away from this rambling write up it's this: Polytoned lives up to its name as DJ Harrison has successfully managed to create a soulful and cohesive album that draws from a mixed bag of sounds and influences. This is some amazing stuff people
For Fans of... Angles Without Edges by Yesterdays New Quintet | Breakout by Soulive Expansions by Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes


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