NEXT 100

On the recent instrumental showcase Humanoid Erotica, Cincinnati producer Fat Jon the Ample Soul Physician calls himself "Maurice Galactica." The name sounds outrageous until you become familiar with the man's work. He soaks Kool Motor, the debut album from the Five Deez group he shares with Pase Rock, Sonic and Kyle David, and his own Wave Motion LP in warm bass tones and crisp drum patterns, making them as evocative and starry-eyed as a cool breeze wafting through a spring night.

Fat Jon's music has more universal appeal than that of the average hip-hop beat-maker. Wave Motion resonates with downtempo grooves and psychedelic rock, while Kool Motor features a techno excursion Fat Jon calls "fast hip-hop." He's known for working with fellow Ohio producer and spirit J. Rawls, with whom he's formed the group 3582; cLOUDDEAD/Anticon's avant rapper Doseone, who used one of Fat Jon's tracks for his 1999 debut Hemispheres; and Japanese MC Shingo 2.

"Even if my music doesn't sound [advanced], the approach is futuristic," the 26-year-old says. True, Fat Jon still defines himself as a "hip-hop producer" who specializes in the classic breaks-based beats underground heads love. But by subtly stretching the boundaries - check the radically shifting tempos of "B.E.A.T." on five Deez debut EP Secret Agent Number 005 for proof - he's carving out a distinctive identity, winning and subverting closed minds. "It's 2002, man. We're in the 21st century," he says. "We're living in the space age; let's make some space-age shit."


Mush Records