DJ Design Jetlag

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DJ Design’s discography is modest compared to his prolific Cali peers like Madlib, yet he remains one of the most underrated producers from the Left Coast. From his beat work for his own group Foreign Legion to NYC’s AG, Design’s productions have always hit hard while rarely sounding redundant. On his debut LP, Jetlag, Design finally gets the chance to let his multihued production shine. Relying much more on synths than samples now, he still cooks up some of the most melodious loops around, as heard on the B Lloyd-assisted “All a Dream.” And, as he proves repeatedly, he can customize tracks remarkably well (check the menacing “Ferocious” featuring Guilty Simpson). His solo work here, like the bugged-out electro track “Gates of Steel,” may not mesh perfectly with the rest of the album, but it sure is a testament to Design’s sonic audacity.