Über Ras G
Ras G called his debut album, Overcast78, "a culmination record and a confidence record," the product of years spent crate-digging and sample-cutting. The prep time clearly paid off. Mining veins that most beatmakers ignore, the Los Angeles producer's debut turned hip-hop's conventional forms inside out, building mesmerizing grooves out of jazz percussion, disembodied voices, milky Rhodes chimes and the unmistakable hiss of well-worn vinyl. This is hardly your average boom bap. Like his friend Flying Lotus, Ras G is clearly inspired by J Dilla's off-kilter sense of meter, with oddly cut breaks rolling all rock-tumbler and elliptical loops buzzing in a kind of soul-music moire. His 2009 album Brotha from Anotha Planet found Ras G's ambitions expanding to match the cosmic vibe of artists like Sun Ra, with the polyrhythmic grooves stranger and keener than ever and the harmonic fireworks -- samples from records most people have probably never heard of, turned uncannily familiar -- spinning like space dust.