We reviewed Languid’s EarFood.
When you follow the yellow brick URL to Zimbabwean hip-hop producer and self-proclaimed ninja Languid’s BandCamp page for the album EarFood, a couple of things strike you almost immediately:
- The album art makes you feel like you’re in an art gallery, very much fixated on a certain piece that is as interesting as it is strange.
- The track list gives you the munchies.
I might be alone where those aforementioned observations are concerned but I doubt I’m alone in the thinking that the album itself is tasty… in an aural sense, anyhow. From the opening track (titled Natural Yoghurt & Pineapples… see what I mean about the munchies?), the Zimbabwean Beat Baker Ninja doesn’t sacrifice the opportunity to show that not only can he make you groove but he can also has a sense of humour, cleverly dropping in audio samples of Fred Fredburger from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and random food oriented programmes/segments.
Natural Yoghurt is a warm synth lover’s paradise, with the smooth bass to make the track go down as easy as the food referenced in the title. Triple Chocolate Cookies is one of my favourite beats on the record. Cookies is jazzy and swinging, yet the drums give the track that kind of bump reminiscent of your favourite neck-breaking beat. I found myself tuning out the vocal overlay of the people talking about cookies and once you lock into the beat yourself (which is just about instantaneous), I’m sure you’ll be too busy jammin’ to give a damn about how fudgelicious madam & sir’s cookies are. Phish Food and Aqua keep feeding you more delicious smooth grooves; the former breaking down into a sensuous slow-jam, the aptly named latter Miles Davis tribute track goes down as easy as a glass of water.
Languid then serves up some fruit (Pa-Papaya) and – I’ll be honest, here – I had this beat on repeat for about half-an-hour. The jazzy scat vocal samples hook you and you’ll find yourself reeled in by a brilliantly chopped soundscape taking cues from the bossa-nova piano and acoustic bass. Toss in some swinging drums and you’ve got yourself one delicious beat. Another massive favourite of mine is Nachos/Doritos. Not a lot of producers can do the sax justice on the track but this boom-bap banger is sure to get some of your dancing in your seat… or out of said seat and dancing, full stop. If Nachos doesn’t, Special Buffet certainly will. Languid gets really funky with it during Buffet, hearkening back to the days of early Nineties R&B. By the time you’ve had had a splash of Ketchup with your Crunchy Salad and Borlotti Beans, Languid goes back into the fridge and breaks out Tuesday’s Korean Food and mark these words: TKF is a jam. Everything about the beat is sheer brilliance, from the composition of the drums to the addictive vocal loops and reverse chops (‘They don’t mean a thing to you’). Crazy stuff.
My only criticism of EarFood is that it does get a bit static in places, which isn’t completely out of the ordinary where instrumental hip-hop albums are concerned. Sometimes, certain beats (like Cookies, for example) would be done much more justice if it were allowed to breathe. Aside from that, EarFood is… well. It’s friggin’ awesome.
VERDICT: EarFood is a rather enjoyable listen. It’s quite clear as you’re listening back that Languid enjoys what he does in the lab. EarFood is groovy, funky, love letter to jazz that flows together quite well. If EarFood were actually edible, I’d be a gluttonous bastard. Buy it. You shan’t regret it.