Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hard Times

Yusef and Nouka

I wish I could provide at least a little definitive information about this 7-song ep from The Nonce's Yusef Afloat, but beyond the name, Hard Times, I got nothin'. I can tell you that I've listened to this bitter-sweet recording through my headphones more times that I can count, and it never grows old. Partly it's due to the short length - at 22 minutes it's over almost before you know it, but also it's due to the wide diversity present. The jazzy, rough sound that typified the Nonce's style can be heard on tracks like "Life (Hard Times)" and "At Tymz," elements of soul are present on "Dancinthedark," and reggae is a strong influence on "No Justice" and "Been Waiting". The cool "Oceans," a Mo'Wax-like lo-fi instrumental track, is a poignant close to this work entirely written and produced by this late great talent. RIP

Hard Times

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