Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reviews:: Josh Martinez - The World Famous Sex Buffet

I'm not sure how things are where you hang your fashionable chapeau, but out here we earn every ounce of warm spring sunshine we get. I don't mean to be over-dramatic about it, because there are obviously places waaay worse off, but we have to endure some long, wet months in between our sunshine seasons. That said, once things do turn warm, which, thankfully, happens to be right about now, my musical yearnings are for sounds that are similarly bright and somewhat peppy. If you're the same, and you're not averse to some Canuckian hip hop, then Josh Martinez' The World Famous Sex Buffet is worth a look.

Despite its rather saucy title, this album, which was released late last year on Josh's own Camobear records, has to be one of the funnest rap releases I've heard in ages. Which makes me question why I didn't hear it sooner. In fact, this is the first project of Josh's that we've covered here on the hill, and when you consider that Josh hails from Halifax (the Ack knew him when he was the Latin-less Matt Kimber), it seems like kind of a large oversight on my part. But oversight correction is, in fact, my bag (baby), so let's get to it.

Now Josh might not be winning the next MC olympics or taking out your favorite battle rapper, but I doubt he cares, and it's far from a big deal, because he has what clueless American beer marketers might call "listenability". He's got charisma, clever, honest lyrics, a unique, twangy voice, and a sing-song flow that would keep all but the most comatose nodding along. Production wise, this Sex Buffet is also pretty fantastic, as the sounds are solid right from the addictive boom-clack of opener All Rapped Out. I'm without liner notes, so I'm going to assume that Josh has handled a lot of the production on here, and he deserves credit for bringing together some diverse sounds without things ever going off the rails. You wouldn't expect to hear the 60's go-go pop sounds of Ritalin Future Sounds, the blues wail of Beerhunger Lovestory, and the doo-wop of Bobby Loveable all mixed together on one album, but it all works, and that's impressive.

In fact, impressive is a word one could use up and down the track list here. I mentioned something earlier how fun this album is, but it's not all jokes for Josh (the song actually entitled Jokes aside) as the Boomer two-flow of adult issues found on Grown Folks Music and Responsibility capably shows. But never fear, the fun returns on Strut, easily the best hip hop interpolation of a Violent Femmes song that I've ever heard. The piano & synth filled, and Moka-featuring Underground Pop is exactly that: a "pop" song from an underground rapper - and it's pretty great. I mean it too, put this in your headphones and head out into the sunshine - if you don't feel approximately 20% better, then you must be a rather miserable person.

If feel-good hip hop isn't your thing, then I might suggest the excellently named Absinth Minded, which is augmented by the feel-good indie rock of Vancouver's Mother Mother. And while we're speaking of Van, Sex Buffet may just contain your new favorite ode to that city's smokeable substance of choice - the solid, Devin The Dude featuring Hurricance Jane. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I've found my new favorite Halifax-related video in the awesome clip for Going Back To Hali, but it bears repeating that the song is also rather excellent.

It's a testament to how damn near impossible it is to make a go at a career in hip hop music in Canada that Josh isn't more well-known in this country. Nevermind that, he's a Halifax expat who made an excellent video for a song called Going Back To Hali, yet I heard nothing about it until the Ack brought it to my attention. Something seems wrong there. Add to that the fact that he has an album full of excellent, radio-ready songs and it seems even worse. I know Josh has a strong following on the west coast, but come on, rest of Canada, why not treat yourself to his sex buffet today? I know I enjoyed it.

MP3:: Josh Martinez - Responsibility

MP3:: Josh Martinez - Going Back To Hali
MYSPACE:: www.myspace.com/thejoshmartinez

VIDEO:: Josh Martinez - Going Back To Hali

VIDEO:: Josh Martinez - R.E.S.P.O.N.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.Y.

Posted at 12:01 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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