Unagi It Came From Beneath The SFC

[442; 2006]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: sound samples, hip-hop, easy listening
Others: Quantic Soul Orchestra, Peanut Butter Wolf, Broadway Project, Controller 7

San Francisco's Unagi is one hell of a beatmaker. Not that he's super original, mind you, as his beats always consist of the same basic elements. Unagi dices '70s disco soul and eighties funk over a big, round bass sound, but the difference between him and the millions of underground and semi-major producers like him is all in how he does it. This guy really knows how to make proper loops and mix them with like sounds: a skill often overlooked in more image-based circles. Sure, the odd track crosses over to the truly cheesy side (like the too eighties funk bomb "If U Wanna"), but, more often than not, his beats are strong enough to carry the album by themselves. In fact, they are so strong and tight that they tend to suffer under the rhymes of the Bay area's local emcees. Motion Man —of DJ Vadim's "Till Suns In Your Eyes" fame— contributes a decent flow, but everyone else's tracks would have a whole lot better replay value if they were just instrumentals like the ironically named soap epic "Shoulda Known Better." Regardless, Unagi's definitely one to watch.

1. Shock & Awe
2. Stay Focused feat. Linkletterz
3. Ricochet feat. King Caesar & Gamble
4. Split Decision
5. Shoulda Known Better
6. Expanded & Up To Date feat. Infinito 2017
7. EKGz
8. If U Wanna
9. Who Spilt The Beer feat. Motion Man
10. Lost & Found feat. Unagi
11. Rolling Ronnie
12. Reach feat. Kero One
13. Give It To Me
14. Wrap You Up feat. Melina Jones
15. Bay Boss Outro