Alex B – Moments (Elm & Oak: 2010)
3 out of 5 Potholes
Purchase on Amazon
Without beating around the bush, Moments is organic music for a digital world. It’s a handcrafted creation that is both earth and universe friendly. Akin to the atmospheric AFTA-1, relatable to some of Flying Lotus’ earlier work, Alex B has put together a relatively impressive collection of beats, layered vigilantly, customized for devotee’s of electronic flavoring.
Moments does a sufficient job of uniting raw material with ethereal substance. “Pad 5” gently opens up with a cloudy classical piano sequence. As soon as I was comfortable with the sounds of a downcast composer softly pressing down on the ivory in his library, an electric monsoon finds its way into the room, energizing the melodramatic cri de coeur. You can coast on “You and I Both Know” momentarily until it hauls you around the damn Milky Way, boom-bapping around the asteroid belt while gazing at a synth-heavy black hole warping the life out of everything around you. Moments even marries emcee with element, as both “Kick Drones” and “Drip Splatter” prove humans can thrive when working with a rather distant entity.
While tackling many distinct environments, Moments is not without its flat instances. There’s just not enough in “Waste” for me to consider it worthy compared to the bulk of the album. Same goes for “Hot Chop”, which begins and ends with underwhelming key play, depending on the middle piece of production to justify the first and last segments. The little hiccups found here and there suppress the momentum, although in Alex’s defense it’s extremely difficult to find utter fluidity when you’re shooting from so many different angles.
Does Moments make it into 2010’s heavy rotation family? Not quite. There are a few tracks on this LP that I will consider as we slowly march towards the inevitable BEST OF chart onslaught at year’s end. Alex B surely deserves praise for this solid record, though I’m finding it hard to see how he can separate from the pack of other talented artists that asshole critics such as myself will always attach him to. Regardless of where he stands in my grand scheme of things, Moments is an experience that I can’t really see disappointing anybody who gives it a chance. Organic music in a digital world. Like RZA says, “It’s like two planets revolving around the same sun so, bong-bong.”