It all starts rather grand. Classical music (the popular sort they use on TV ads) booms through the speakers only to be cut up with piecing synths 30 second in. You know this isn't going to be subtle. It doesn't disappoint. As you're hurled straight into a series of an early pop-house track, re-imagined with addition dirty keyboards. It's a little unexpected at best. Just like the random emcee at the end. Then the whole thing drops down to what sounds like a particularly half arsed attempt at pop-dance-hip-hop meets the Beach Boys. It's about as good as it sounds. This high paced dance vibe continues for some time with varying degrees of success but never really letting you up for air. It's not always unpleasant but it is consistently unspectacular. The characters that pop up on the mic at intervals never really add much to the experience either with a series of banal raps.
About halfway through proceedings the flavour shifts to favour a more Hip-Hop outlook. Unfortunately the bar doesn't go up at the same time. A particularly lazy house version of Yeezy's "Flashing Lights" is worth noting for all that is wrong with this mix. It's never really clear what the point is. It's not eclectic enough to be an all out party mix, it's not good enough at bringing House and Hip-Hop together to be labelled Hip-House and it's just simply a bit dull after a while getting pummelled in the head with the same Casio sounds. It fades into the background well enough but the unrelenting pace and in your face attitude reveal loftier goals not yet reached.
The last third is much more successful for largely playing tracks un-edited. When he drops label mates Retro Kidz single "New Era" it's a refreshing if uninspiring piece of unashamedly old school Hip-Hop that provides a rest from the rest of the record. Both Retro Kidz and Brobot are trying to bring back something old and although neither are being terribly successful you can't help but think the Kidz have a more complete vision of where they're going with it.
Thankfully Alexander Technique doesn't decimate "Paid in Full" before throwing on another series of throw-away RnB, Dance and Hip-Hop tunes. Then as if to throw the whole enterprise into a clear light he throws in a certified bangga in "Black Mags" by The Cool Kidz. The problem with this is that these Kidz pack more 80s swagger into the 3 minutes than this mix does for the best part of an hour, rendering its inclusion here frankly baffling.
If you like House and golden era Hip-Hop and fancy a record that packs both adequately but unspectacularly, then pick this up. If you want something fresh or something to sheen of the classics a little more likely go elsewhere. What the Brobot label does may be to some people's taste, but it's hard to think how this would reach beyond that core audience.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10
Originally posted: July 22, 2008