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Up Hygh The Venus Album

Swedish production duo Up Hygh may swing like galactic soul stirrers Sa-Ra, PPP, and the tragically departed J Dilla, but these Northern cats ain't no cheap Wal-Mart knock-offs; they're competent hip-hop heads having intimate relations with fat analog basslines. Like a ride on a potholed Brooklyn parkway after ingesting a fifth of Henny, Hygh's beats swerve, skid, and weave but never stray from their harmonic asphalt. "Get Out My Face" features singer Melo invoking Stevie Wonder as robust, layered vocals compliment funky, topsy-turvy drum patterns. Bas-1, Planet Asia, and friends fill in the gaps with energetic raps over clipped synths and handclap-saturated beats that sound like Rick James and Zapp records thrown in a concrete mixer.

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