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The Beat Kids Open Rhythm System

Not quite on par with Djinji Brown's Afrobeat-chic Surround Sound, The Beat Kids's Open Rhythm is a ponderous venture into Blacktronic Never-Neverland, where left-handed, techy production collides with syncopated drums. While Open Rhythm's tumult of styles occasionally creates an avant-garde wrecking ball effect-most apparent on "Gimme Back My Activator"-in other moments, experimentation produces something tasty and tripped-out-like the swampy berimbau beat on "Brazilian Phrasebook," and Keith Witty's eerie bass solo on "Fraction." Given that The Beat Kids come from a lineage of weird-if slightly bookish-7 Heads jazz cats, Open Rhythm's souped-up "think" music seems apropos.

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