Track Review: Quasimoto – “The Front”

[Stones Throw; 2013]

It’s not exactly the new Quas album we’ve all been waiting for — only five of the tracks “new,” for starters — but Stones Throw has still done right by us with the release of Yessir Whatever. On “The Front,” originally found on a limited-edition 7″ from 2005 but available in digital format for the first time, Madlib — actual Madlib; his higher-pitched alter ego only crops up occasionally here — laments his community’s violence (“One of my closest niggas told me he had to get a vest”) and reminds us that he “ain’t got no label,” his more blatantly hedonistic alter ego only cropping up every now and then. If the lyrics are a bit more serious than we might expect, however, the music is comfortably Quas: tape-saturated bass and guitar samples from a bygone funk era, bookended by blasts of brass beamed straight from the Golden Age of Radio and cheekily repurposed snippets of old adverts. There’s a timeless quality to Quas songs; according to the label, the songs on Yessir were recorded over the course of twelve years, yet nothing on Yessir sounds lamely dated or lazily rehashed. Madlib is consistently excellent, and he makes it sound consistently effortless.

The Front by Quasimoto on Grooveshark