DJ Cam’s latest masterpiece sees more hip-hop beats flowing over cool jazz, and is a refreshing comeback from the disappointing The Beat Assasinated. With that album, it wasn’t the music that frustrated me, but the worthless rap “artists” making their appearances and littering all over the quality sounds. Loa Project (Volume 2) leaves the rap behind and returns to the shaking instrumentals that Cam is notorious for.
The opening track, “Millenium,” starts off the album with forceful beats, severe scratching, and Thelonious Monk-like piano. In other words, vintage Cam. The next track, “Juliet,” is similar. Piano chords are struck over laid-back beats until they build in a disco-esque manner. While Loa Project (Volume 2) may be more danceable than the lavish Mad Blunted Jazz, the sensual, cool jazz is still evident throughout. The most notable track may be “Ghetto Love” with its harsh beats, pauses, build-ups, Miles Davis-esque trumpet, and eerie keys. Cam’s effort is evident and the difference between tracks 4 and 5 is night and day. Speaking of eerie, the next track is titled “Candyman,” which features Franck Black and a sample from the movie Candyman (what else?). At any rate, the beats drop strongly in a tune that seems destined for some horror movie
Unfortunately, there is one track, “You Do Something To Me,” that reeks of that bubblegum teenage Paula Abdul pop. Cam can drop insane beats over gorgeous jazz, but his talent seems a little lacking when he picks “artists” to appear on his albums. The song is a total TLC track, and doesn’t belong on an album brimming with hard beats and luscious piano fills. Cam even throws in a little commercialized, probably unneeded, Jamaican mix. “Ganja Man” contains grooved beats, but the samples are just humorous. At times, the song almost sounds like a rasta cowboy tune, with the fake gun shots and a man yelling “ganja man!” I guess 10 out of 12 isn’t too shabby compared to The Beat Assassinated. However, the rest of the LP is bliss.
The percussion is robust throughout the album, and definitely evident on “DJ Cam Sound System.” Cam takes futuristic keyboard sounds and mixes them with a ’70s dance feel — the effect is similar to Jamiroquai’s latest stuff. Loa Project (Volume 2) is a return to greatness for DJ Cam. My only plea, “Don’t let others ruin an incredible album.” Overall, the sounds of the Loa Project (Volume 2) are very similar to Mad Blunted Jazz, but the sound is a bit harder.
Written by Nolan Shigley.