Monday, January 19, 2015

Instrumental Episodes by ZForbes

     Listening to a sample heavy instrumental hip-hop album is a lot like listening to a jazz record; to some, it's some of the coolest and best music around, while others may think it's boring and outdated. For me, I  sit with those who lean more on the "coolest music around" side, simply because I feel that anyone can convey emotions and feelings with words, but it takes a different kind of talent to present those same emotions and feelings using minimal cuts and loops from various songs.

     With that, I'd like to introduce the album, Instrumental Episodes by Toronto native ZForbes. This album has a little bit of everything, and the boom-bap sound is fluent throughout this project. ZForbes kicks the album off with a remix of Jay-Z's "The Watcher 2" and the infused jazz elements sound somewhat picturesque. 

      In fact, the whole album is jam packed with jazz samples and cuts, which gives the project a bit of an extremely versatile feel. Jazz can be interpreted in many different ways, so it's interesting to hear some of the slower and more melancholic sounding tracks, and still feel considerably cheerful by the songs end. I think ZForbes did a wonderful job at making beats with such an open ended sound, and it was that characteristic that really made this album for me.

      Other than making tracks that can give off a range of emotions and feelings, Instrumental Episodes also excels in the sense that it is quick, yet smooth listen. All of the tracks run well together, and the cohesive and coherent nature of the infused genres really make this listening experience top-notch. This is an overlooked trait in most instrumental projects, but when there are no words to deliver the intended message, tempo becomes everything, and ZForbes displayed his firm grasp on this concept all throughout the album.

     Nine short and to-the-point tracks comprise Instrumental Episodes, and those nine tracks will emit a variety of emotions to every listener, making the listening experience unique for each individual. While there wasn't much wrong with this album, there also wasn't anything that truly blew me away. This is a solid project that should be listened to in its entirety to receive the full effect of a good instrumental project. ZForbes is a talented producer, and his skill without question has a place within the hip-hop community. Give Instrumental Episodes a listen, and let me know what you think!

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