Music News

Radius

In a fond tribute to his hometown, producer Ramon "Radius" Norwood dedicates each of the 11 instrumental entries on Neighborhood Suicide to an area in the Windy City. Unless you're Radius, his productions won't paint a portrait of Chicago for you, but Neighborhood's sample-built blends of chimes, strings, and vocal snippets bode well for the Ninja Tune or Stones Throw fan. Another road for oft-used drum breaks is opened on "Bucktown (Fuckwork)," and its crisp piano and slick stop/start rhythm is owed to Chicago producer Caural's influence, according to Radius' carefully scripted liner notes. Forces like Caural's catalog are at work on the album, but Neighborhood's "Uptown (Awaken)" and the obviously DJ Premier-inspired "90/94 (Interlude)" suggest there's more hip-hop than experimental electronic LPs in Radius' messenger bag. "Hydepark (Imissyou)" and "Rogerspark (Northpolebakery)" couple nicely, and while a broader bank of samples would offer more distinction between tracks, Radius' sparse details on the latter (organ, muted bass, a stomp-heavy beat) make a long, late-night walk home feel a little lonely. He was going for a different effect, but considering the limited pallet, Radius scores significantly whether we're thinking about Chicago or not.

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Dominic Umile