Zen of Logic – DJ Logic
What DJ Logic has produced on his latest album, Zen Of Logic, is a party record; something to put on to get things rolling after a few beers have everyone well-oiled and ready to dig the bump n’ grind, rough n’ tumble beats that run throughout his work. Of course, there’s much more to it than that. You don’t reach Logic’s status in the jamband, rock, hip-hop and jazz worlds if you can’t add something interesting among all the crossfades and samples. In that regard, Zen reflects his ability to produce hypnotic beats that are dressed up by the DJ along with special guest John Medeski, Antibalas, Charlie Hunter and MCs SubConscious and Creature. Much of the time the combinations of rhythms and sounds elicit something akin to a song worthy of listening to that equals its usefulness as a tool for shaking your body in whatever manner that feels good.It starts off strong enough with “Peace Y’All (I am in the House),” and “9th Ward Blues.” The former’s a fast-moving old school romp that wants nothing more than to display Logic’s prowess on the turntables and get the heart rate racing. The latter opens the sonic palette with harmonica and guitar samples that gives the tune the sensation of walking through the neighborhood drowned by Hurricane Katrina; a sign of hope towards of future time of normalcy. “Simmer Slow” does just that with a rap that outshine its instrumental foundation. “Holding Down” sounds like a long lost Todd Rundgren track that he recorded in the early 70s, experimental yet a subtle sense of melody. “Afro Beat” bring members of Antibalas around for an exuberant mix of east-meets-west unity, while “Something Distant” brings in other worldbeat flavorsand succeeds in its creative process.
Not everything works so well (i.e. the two interludes, “Hypnotic,” Hope Road”). Using the phrase pales in comparison’ isn’t right nor fair because, as a party record, the grooves still win out. But what Logic displayed on the majority of other tracks is that just about any style can mate with any other one in order to make a significant contribution to moving the beat forward in the universe.