Evidence – Squirrel Tape Instrumentals Vol. 1

4 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Produced by: Evidence

I hear ‘tape’ combined with ‘mix’ or ‘beat’ and I’m expecting whatever it is to be an acquired taste.  Something that’s maybe appealing for beat collectors, people who like to dance to music (not me – I sit alone in the dark, stoney-faced, taking notes), or, if it’s instrumentals taken from a release, people already invested in the source album.  I’m not expecting a full-fledged effort, especially on the back of a recent release.  But that’s what Evidence has given us: not only a set of tracks that stand on their own, but one with, like, some kind of thematic link involving squirrels.  …Intelligent, dangerous squirrels…?

Well, okay, I can’t tell you if that theme means much of anything, and at 25 tracks, some of these beats do admittedly blend together, but Evey seems quite aware of that, sequencing interstitials – that take adventurous advantage of samples, video game bleeps, scratches – between the longer cuts, making the album incredibly seamless from start to finish.  Seamless, as in: I’ve had it on repeat all day and haven’t minded one bit.  It’s possible I danced.

(No, it’s not, actually, but I bobbed my head with at least 2% rhythm!)