Less is More (Lo Definition)
On Less is More, Elaquent’s seventh release in almost as many years, he masterfully builds a web of short, choppy, J Dilla inspired beats around nostalgia for the 90s. Vaporwave influenced samples blend with the familiar blips of older video game consoles. Songs resonate as if J Dilla composed the soundtrack to Sonic for the Sega Genesis. In a breezy half an hour, with most songs clocking at under two minutes, Elaquent is content to unpretentiously present his childhood in beat form. The album resists modernizing samples. Instead, it revels in the anachronistic. On the standout track “Talk Some Sh!t,” bleeps from Mario overlap with menacing vocal samples from GoYama. It captures the youthful experience of how heroic video game boss encounters could feel. Humour prevents the album from eliciting boredom that could come from looking at pictures from someone else’s childhood. On “Saul Good,” J’Von flows smoothly over jazzy beats, yet once the listener is lulled into a false sense of relaxation, a jarring sample of “Keep your head bobbing” blares. Samples like this clash in a humorous manner. If you are looking for excellent video game inspired hip hop instrumentals to sonically relive your youth, look no further.
– Ben Wagg