Luz Mob Luz Interpretations

[Crystal Top Music; 2007]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: hyphenate the following: hip-hop, dub, latin, reggae, jazz, ska
Others: Duke Ellington, Prince Far I, The Specials

I’m stubborn. Slow, too. Slow, as in, not advancing as fast as those around me (society). It’s a voluntary, dilatory pace. Not an elderly ailment or incapacity to move forward with quickness. When I feel it necessary, I can make haste quite well, thank you very much. I don’t cringe so much as shake with disapproval at the technological advances of the day. Any form of media will tell you how fast it’s all moving — how this is the “Now” movement. I’m simply sidestepping the issue until I figure out my stance. We’re in the midst of the movement, and so also is the formulation of my opinion on it all. I’m not anxious to exploit it or damn it or endorse it.

Preferably, I’d like to say I “hearken back.” I’d like someone to describe me in a way that begins: He harkens back to a time when... I believe this generation of Instant Gratification and All Access has its drawbacks. Hopefully I can say that out loud without being branded a geezer or a queer fish. But I can still keenly observe the phenomenon. I have a three-disc changer on my stereo. In it now are the following: Mos Def & Talib Kweli’s Black Star, Caetano Veloso’s self-titled 1971 album, and a burned copy of a Dark Night Blues summer episode, a radio program on 90.3 KDVS coming out of Davis, CA that plays folk, blues, and hokum records.

Diverse, eh? This age we’re living in propels diversity. Our community of openness and opportunity aids it. My example, rooted in my old-fashioned ways, is measly. Think of yourself with your iPod. Compare my three spinning compact discs that span four distinct genres and four different decades of the previous century with the span of your MP3 collection of tunes, housed in a small pocketsize unit, contained as megs and gigs. We listen, we link, we compare, we cite influences, we download every name that is dropped. We compile. We mix. We juxtapose, entangle, and sprout whatever concoction we didn’t even see coming. It happened so fast.

Still with me? (This movement results in shortened attention spans. People need a hyperlink to keep them distracted.)

So this intake, this abundance, presents us with artists like Luz — artists whose music is a cumulus of various influences, diverse styles, and un-thought-of interpretations. It has become the standard. These artists of the day are not always pleasing, though. Many times, they are quite awful. Not the case with Luz Mob. Luz Interpretations is an album that proves combining every taste and sensibility and style can still result in something interesting, not just messy and all-encompassing. The diversity of Luz Interpretations stands as such: Latin tastes (Luis Segura), ska legends (Justin Hinds, Prince Far I, Neal Davies and John Bradbury), current hip-hop (J.T. Tha Bigga Figga), and Disney staff songwriters (Sherman Brothers). The songs are interpreted uniquely, but punctuated by the alto and baritone saxophones and bass clarinet played by Luz himself. This is an album on the upswing of our age. Take note if you are susceptible to this method of creation.

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