October 21, 2010

Test Spins: Chiddy Bang

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After years of Internet success, Chiddy Bang finally has an officially released EP to its name, The Preview. The release is aptly titled; meant to serve as a taste before releasing their first studio album, The Swelly Express, set to drop in 2011.

For the first time, the duo’s music will be sold over iTunes, no longer reserved to the blogosphere where it has already formed a cult following.

The group’s sound is hard to pinpoint. Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin, the producer and mastermind behind the group’s beats, incorporates a variety of samples and instrumentals on every track, reminiscent of the work of other eclectic electronic artists like Ratatat. Xaphoon tiptoes the fine line between sampling and remixing, making his beats both recognizable and entirely original. His talent is especially apparent on “The Opposite of Adults,” a song originally released in 2009 that was further edited for The Preview. Masterful samples abound, from Passion Pit on “Truth” to Sufjan Stevens on “All Things Go.” In addition to these samples, Q-Tip, formerly of A Tribe Called Quest, joins the duo to provide an interesting hook on “Here We Go.” The groups production as diverse as it is intricate and is definitely the highlight of the album.

Vocally, Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege does his best to live up to the all-star canvases provided by Xaphoon Jones. Lyrically he is witty and quite quotable throughout, although he lacks the necessary edge that makes a good emcee great. His voice can seem overpowered by the tracks as he attempts to match the intricate backings of Jones, especially on “Old Ways,” a track with synthesizer piano combinations that make Chiddy’s flow seem particularly feeble.

All in all Chiddy Bang represents a further blending of hip-hop with the mainstream that proves ultimately enjoyable and dance-worthy. Although it would be foolish to claim Chiddy is the next Jay-Z or Kanye West, he does an adequate job providing energy and life atop the incredible and highly nuanced production of Xaphoon Jones.


Original Author: Adam Lerner