CD The Tao of Yo (CD 983552),
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The Tao of Yo
1. Shine for Me
2. Secret Frequency, The
3. More from Life
4. Shape 4
5. Noh Rio
7. 30 Spokes
9. No Pistolas
11. Words They Choose
12. Shape I
13. Perfect Traveler (Tourist Europe)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 57149
Yohimbe Brothers: DJ Logic (sound effects); Vernon Reid.
Personnel: Latasha Natasha Diggs (vocals, background vocals); Taylor McFerrin, Traz, Bos Omega, Ricky Quinones (vocals); Vernon Reid (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, guitar synthesizer); Graham Haynes (cornet); Deantoni Parks (drums); Eddie Hall (congas, bongos, dumbek, shaker); DJ Logic (turntables).
Additional personnel: Shantyman (spoken vocals); GoodandEvil (various instruments, programming); Jared Nickerson (bass guitar); Eddie Hall (congas, bongos, dumbek, percussion); Maya Jenkins (taps); Taylor McFerrin, Latasha Natasha Diggs, Bos Omega, Ricky Quinones.
Audio Mixer: GoodandEvil.
Yohimbe Brothers (Vernon Reid and DJ Logic) are back with another genre-smashing effort, this time on Thirsty Ear and helped out by the production team of Goodandevil (Christian Castagno and Danny Blume). It's got all the dense sonic detail as Front End Lifter, and ranges just as far stylistically, but this time out there's a more serious political bent to the proceedings rather than just the good times/party aspect of their first album. They kick things off with a dancehall-flavored number, featuring the vocals and poetry of Latasha Natasha Diggs, then move into the hard rock/turntablism/drum'n'bass concoction of "The Secret Frequency." "More From Life" is the most direct diatribe, featuring Traz spitting righteous rhymes aimed squarely at the GOP about some of the realities of urban life. "TV" and "Words They Choose" are the other incisive tunes, addressing how and where people get their news and information. Taylor McFerrin takes a low-key but pointed approach on the atmospheric and dubby "Words They Choose," while Bos Omega gives a Flava Flav-style delivery over some crunching guitar on "TV," which also has a chorus with a monster hook and a freaky acoustic guitar solo. Other tunes like "Noh Rio," "30 Spokes," and "Overcoming" are mellow instrumentals (despite the wicked electric soloing on "Overcoming"), which are further contrasted with the recurring "Shape" interludes (consisting of acoustic guitar, tap dancing (?), and other assorted sundry "sounds"). Since Vernon Reid is involved, of course there's plenty of guitar throughout, but Yohimbe Brothers are more about a genre-defying thick aural stew rather than guitar grandstanding. There's way more detail to these tracks than could possibly be picked up on an initial listening, making this album a pleasure to come back to. Listen with headphones for the full effect. ~ Sean Westergaard
Down Beat (p.80) - 3 1/2 stars out of 5 - "THE TAO OF YO is a focused piece of avant-groove, spiked with lyrical social commentary and rooted in the electronic dance rock and hip-hop rhythms that the BRC pioneered."
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Thirsty Ear Recordings THI 571492
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