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Vernon Reid and DJ Logic's second record has evolved into an assault of sounds and styles that defy genre, combining hip-hop, metal, and salsa influences. It's a musical tour de force, employing guitar and DJ work into a cohesive package of riffs and beats. There's also a political undertone to this release, making it timely and fitting during this supercharged election year. Guests include Latasha Nevada Diggs, Taylor McFerrin, Traz, Boz Omega, and Ricky Quinones, to name a few.
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The Yohimbe Brothers second recording, "The Tao of Yo," may not be as solid or cohesive an effort as their debut album, "Front End Lifter," but that doesn't make it any less interesting or entertaining. Featuring shorter tracks and a sense of stylistic variety that could sink less accomplished artists, the Yohimbe Brothers offer up a multi-genre work that defies pat categorization.
Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid and DJ Logic are the Yohimbe Brothers, but as with their previous effort, invited guest musicians make more than just mere cameos. With a roster of contributors that varies from tune to tune, the album boasts a smattering of undersigned talent. Numerous emcees, a cadre of female back up singers, live drummers and even a tap dancer all make appearances.
Veering from the afro-electro-clash opener, "Shine For Me" and the neu-metal riff-rap of "TV" to the Latin flavored "No Pistolas" and outward to the spastic, Inspector Gadget quoting breakbeat/bop mash-up "Unimportance," almost no genre remains untouched. And while the album lacks a coherent sense of sonic focus it is never short of ingenuity. Reid's playing is, as expected, phenomenal, embodying everything from delicate acoustic strumming to Coltrane-esque sheets of sound while Logic contributes his usual selection of atmospheric sounds and unconventional beats. Despite the album's "kitchen-sink" aesthetic, there is a lyrical thread that connects the disparate styles. "The Tao of Yo" may sound like a party record on first listen, but is actually a party record for the revolution. Political Rap may currently be relegated to the underground, but this is the territory the Yohimbe Brothers call home.Read more ›
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The Yohimbe Bros is the sound of Vernon Reid and DJ Logic -- and a slew of friends -- having fun in their spare time. This, their second album, is a colorful and vastly entertaining tour through the duo's take on hip hop, cut & paste electronica, hard rock, spaghetti western drum n' bass, weird jazz, reggae and plenty of other stuff as well.
Standouts include "Shine for Me" (which could have been an M.I.A. track), the deeply funky "More from Life," which benefits from an excellent, politically-charged rap courtesy of Traz and the monstrous, stomping "TV." Other guests include Kudu's Deantoni Parks and the outrageously gifted Taylor McFerrin, who brings a thoughtful piece of verbiage to "Words They Choose."
Guitar god Reid never plays where he's not welcome, but does turn in some characteristically manic jazz/metal solos here and there. Elsewhere he provides a variety of textures, from gorgeous acoustic arpeggiations to monolithic power chord riffs. This record is way better than you may expect.
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