Oliver Wang has been releasing his own series of successful mix tapes for some time, and now he's moved on to a new territory: real estate tapes? Not yet, but who knows, maybe that's in the works. Instead of giving us the latest in hip hop, O-Dub digs deep into his collection and comes up with 71 minutes of some of the finest funk, jazz, and soul to ever be placed on one CD.
What makes this CD different from O-Dub's past mix tapes is that this is very old school. Not old school hip hop, but we're talking back in the days of your uncles and aunties, when you could find leftover weed in the gatefold of the album covers. This is the original old school definition of a "mix tape", a simple collection "From O-Dub, Select Songs I Like" (F.O.S.S.I.L.). There are a few spots where O-Dub does show off his turntable skills, but in this case the skills he presents are in the selection of records. Or basically, his skills of digging in the crates and coming up with the choice cuts.
There is an overall theme to "Soul Symphony", but you'll have to take a listen to find out. If you're familiar with the works of Quannum (DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, and Latryx), you will hear some of these sounds in their original form, such as "Look Of Slim" by Thre Sounds, "Bring It On Down" by Bobby Franklin's Insanity, "Attica Black" by Ron Carter, and "She" by Charles Kynard. By listening to these songs in their original form, one can examine how they were dissected and taken apart. One of the more interesting tracks is Richard Roundtree's "Lovin'", a laid back soul track which was put to good use when used by DJ Shadow as part of his first Solesides 12", "Entropy".
Even if one was to remove the Quannum connection with these tracks, O-Dub has managed to create a solid mix that you could use at your next party, get-together, or record digging adventure. If a friend asks you where you got the songs, you can lie and said that you did it. After the party, you can ask for his forgiveness and hope he'll come back with another quality compilation. He probably will, since he knows you'll need help the next time out.
Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Tape Vibes: 10 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 9.5 of 10
Originally posted: August 7, 2001