Fractal Abstraction
Record label: Shadow
Format: CD
Release date: August 2000

There was a time when I would go gaga listening to France's take on jazz and abstract hip-hop, but I can't be so easily swayed anymore. One must show and prove why they are more than just another DJ Cam or MC Solaar. Le Gooster gives it his all on production, arrangement, scratches, and loops, but ends up falling into too many "trip-hop" cliches. You know the routine: manipulating samples from kung fu flicks and gangster movies, really dope beats underneath slipshod MCs, etc. While the production is exquisite, there isn't enough originality here to distinguish this artist from others of the same ilk. To Goo's credit, there are a few moments that shine brighter than others ("Maintain Flavor" and "B.B.M.Q.", to name a few). Those moments would've made a stellar EP. Instead, we're left with a lackluster LP: lots of style, but lots of filler as well.

{downtempo don}

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