Unpath'd Waters
label: Alpha Pup

production: Paris Zax

year of release: 2005
Way Ahead
The Blue Eye Ear
High Tide
At Home
Mescaline Flowers
Traumatic Condition
Connective Tissue
Part of the Act
Mellow Mission
12. One Two-One Seven

The Blue Eye Ear

There have been times where you had to explain to your unsuspecting fan that westcoast is not always gangster and such. Just like now you have to explain to your unsuspecting unknowing, that not all rap is guns and thugs and drugs and bitches. This crucial information on LA's vast underground scene had the time to find soil for it to grow on, with publications like this pouring enough water over the feeble plants.
You cannot really say that Paris Zax was one of the first artists that created said information, but he's one of those great westcoast artists too few people know about. And even if the awareness is quite widespread, the export of the music is still mainly to niches of fans, rather than a full embrace by other areas. It's not about the coasts anymore, but it still is about the coasts, insofar that what is recorded at one coast, oftentimes stays right there.
You can count Paris Zax amongst the talents of an Omid, a Deeskee and a Mum's The Word, even though he still has to build his discography. Gaining attention with beats on the first Met Fly album, later 2mex, Neila and Busdriver albums, Paris caters beats to people in his neck of the woods, and with Alpha Pub, Daddy Kev's new label, it's also his own that put him out.
The album is fully instrumental insofar that Paris doesn't talk. There can be the odd voice sample here and there, but this mainly let's the music do the talking. And Paris actually strays away from the gadgety and wacky beats, to create big soundscapes, with musicality in mind, never leaving space for a rapper to rap over. Not to say that all the tracks are loaded: there's room underneath the grande sky. But what's left empty is just that because the song's supposed to be empty there, and not because there had to be room for a rapper.
Especially the leaving the spiffy styles to the side will confuse if not even disappoint some fans. With rather unspectacular beats like "High Tide", he'll not reclaim those. Paris is also not this super flashy technical to-be-studied producer like a RJD2 - but on this record rather musical. His songs really are meant to sound good first and foremost, and are created with an atmosphere in mind, that may be achieved with fewer tricks than what others do in their impressive and intricate work. At the same time however, Paris caters a little to the simple and boring titled side on songs like "Mescaline Flowers" or "Nomasanapa". He regains us again with a "Traumatic Condition" though, an abstract song that's music by a theatre orchestra creating the vibe for the scenes. Other notables are the best song on here "The Blue Eye Ear", the way too short "At Home" and finally "Connective Tissue."
In conclusion: this is good, but could/should have been better. While many album had you skip to the Paris Zax produced songs to listen to them first, you might actually be caught skipping a song or two to avoid them on here. And while that would have been called blasphemous yesterday, today it's an understandable reaction to a poem sampling "Mellow Mission."
review: tadah
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