Bad Abbot's "Futurama" is an interesting instrumental album. The promotional version is 45 tracks and clocks in at 61 minutes, whereas the official release noted on his website is supposedly 60 tracks at 75 minutes. Instrumental albums rarely amaze, unless the creator of the beats is a true creative master of his craft. Is Bad Abbot that genius!?
Bad Abbot was born Anton Hadjiev in Bulgaria and the Eastern European influence of his supposed Hip-Hop beats is evident upon listening to "Futurama". A lot of the album sounds different than conventional rap music, in that, it is more synthetically driven than most popular stuff in the States. He lives in D.C. and is hoping to make a name for himself in the craft that he obviously loves.
The opener is a track called "Fur Coats" and it sets a high standard for the rest of the album with it's ominous hums and a foot-tapping piano loop overtop a synth-driven backdrop. It's a nice track, but nothing mind-blowing.
Next, we are given the aptly titled "Kama Sutra" that is the only really notably influenced track on the album. "Kama Sutra" is an uptempo number that features an Indian raga sound--think about snake charmer music and you'll be on the right track. This song is far more unique than the rest of the album and it is genuinely interesting.
"On Campus" is a funky, feel-good song that feels like it belongs on television show as a theme song. The trumpets that perpetuate the beat keep it interesting. But, an issue begins to arise as you get to this point in the album. That is, the numerous songs on this album rarely flow into one another gracefully and the theme that you would expect from an album entitled "Futurama" begins to unravel into nothing meaningful. The following tracks are a stampede of forgettable music, especially since they are commonly mid-tempo.
There are a couple of other notable tracks that stand out, but they are interspersed on the 45-track dartboard of a disc this comes to be. "Trackstarz" is another piano beat, but this one sounds more grim, like the beginning of a Dr. Dre beat, but without that extra oomph to make it a hit. And "Bad Girl" is one of the best on the album as it slows the pace down for an R&B sounding joint that is highlighted with a snappy percussion, though it sounds eerily familiar to a radio hit that will drive you crazy trying to figure it out, or maybe it's just my imagination. But, particularly the second half of this album makes the listener feel like Bad Abbot has already used all of the tricks up his sleeve.
The reasons that "Futurama" does not stand out from any other instrumental release are plentiful. There is a lack of creativity in the usage of vocal samples (maybe because of a lack of budget and sample clearance issues?), scratches, or even instruments to make it well-rounded and at 45-tracks you would expect a larger range. The average song length on "Futurama" is 1:15, which makes it feel like a demo tape someone sent to a record executive in hopes of becoming famous. Most importantly, despite a few worthwhile tracks, "Futurama" lacks any cohesiveness from a thematic and musical standpoint. Strangely, there are a couple songs that you can listen to on his website that are not on "Futurama", yet they sound more pleasant than anything on it. It is like Bad Abbot is just trying to compile a bunch of leftovers for the release of "Futurama".
Unfortunately, for Bad Abbot, it is doubtful that there will be a ton of artists knocking down his door to buy a beat from this album, but there are points that make you feel like he is onto something at certain times, but never achieves the gem he seeks. Though, it would be intriguing to see him dig in the crates a bit and focus his music direction. Bad Abbot notes J. Dilla and DJ Quik, respectively, as his heroes, but this album is not the multi-textural masterpiece that "Donuts" was this past year, because at this point in his career he is not that genius.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: n/a of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10
Originally posted: January 9, 2007