Just until about 30 minutes I was totally unfamiliar with the producer Phoniks, However,doing an unrelated Google search I stumbled across this EP of his entitled0 "Autumn in New York", pressed play and was immediatly hooked. The subtitle on the record cover is Jazz remixes of New York underground hip-hop and that is exactly what it is, and not some lame crossover attempt either but a record done with class and finesse. On the 9-track set Phoniks conjures up a moody atmosphere through the use of somber piano notes, acoustic guitar licks, low-key horns, double bass riffs and smacking drum programming,which he then juxtaposes against the acapellas of several classic underground hip-hop singles from the '90s (you got joints by The Artifacts, Street Smartz, Mos Def, Notorious BIG, Fugees,, AK Skills, and more). This is a damn fine front-to-back listen that demands you to sit down and chill out while soaking in the jazzy sounds and rugged lyricisms of times past. In other words "Autumn in New York" comes highly recommended, especially if you're a real jazz lover and a true hip-hop head like myself.
I'm also including Phonik's latest release "The Instrumentals Vol. 1" which dropped earlier this month ("Autumn..." was apparantly released back in February). As the title suggests it's an entirely instrumental album and maybe even more than the aforementioned EP it exists in the grey zone between jazz and hip-hop but above anything else it's just beautiful music that'll get your head nodding so don't sleep. I'll definitely be continuing checking for this cat's music, so stay tuned and hope you like his stuff as much as I do. I don't seem to be able to find out any real info about him, but it seems that he operates out of Portland and you can check out more of his work @ PhoniksBeats.com.
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