Album Review: Dfalt / ‘Helsinki Beat Tape Part One’ (Daylight Curfew)

Helsinki Beat Tape Part One

★★★★☆

Dfalt reaches well-worn crossroads when it comes to the aims of instrumental hip-hop; not quite a trip, not quite a get-down, the commitment to creative drum-fixed thinking that some may call old-fashioned (given that none of it is synthesized or bent from leftfield), is Jason Drake warming the neck muscles so they’re prepared to collaborate with walking feet.

Part one of an LA triple header, Dfalt as hiker only occasionally peers out from under his brim, a stone rolling to the beat of the prairie. If the scenery is nothing to write home about, there’ll always be the drums that weigh a “Feather Ton”, and when pianos cascade on “Spctrpn,” flashbacks to the bright lights and big city are perhaps what Dfalt has left behind in his solo pursuit of unearthing the perfect beat.

“Never Faded Away” travels as far as his dusted boots will take him. Usually with spirit concealed in his step, “Dance of the Witch” is the first instance of Dfalt feeling trapped by the boom-bap of his surroundings, akin to the wrong side of the tracks meeting his gaze. Positivity dissolving, loneliness ascending, “Again the Night” is splashed with icy reality, strings resembling icicles, and while “San Francisco” comes straight up, it’s touched with a window to the soul appraisal. A B-boy stance equidistant from rolling out the lino and curling up with your headphones.

File under: The Last Skeptik, DJ Day, DJ Scientist

Matt Oliver