Beneath the surface lurks the lost (or abandoned?) spirit of experimentation, buried with the idea that anything worth digging must first be dug up. And in producer OD's LA, the fruitful don't fall too far from the branches behind the stage at the Good Life Café, circa the early '90s.

The early results of a couple of jam sessions, captured on digital tape as the semi-improvisational "What Up" and the ingenious animal embodiment of "Farmer's Market Of The Beast," respectively, led to the realization of an entire album focused specifically on the most talented and ignored hiphop artists in southern California - Beneath The Surface. Far more varied in terms of mood and intonation than its predecessor/inspiration, Project Blowed, OD corralled Blowed vets Freestyle Fellowship, C.V.E, Ellay Khule and DK Toon along with less recognized, though no less brilliant, locals O.M.D., Darkleaf, the ShapeShifters, Brothers Manifesto, Faymus, Otherwize, Khinky Red, Sesquipedalien, Onomatopoeia, Jizzm, globalPhlowtations, Alien nation and Iriscience from Dialated Peoples.

"From Coltrane to somebody rappin' in a cipher who I may never see again, I'm a fan," explains OD. "So I wanted to put together a collection of music that I, myself, could buy and not be disappointed with." In the effort to creatively make cohesive what is possibly the most stylistically diverse selection of MCs ever assembled on one album, OD embarked on a musical journey that stretched nearly two years in length, sharpening his patience no less than the pads on his ASR-10. A spiritual path, in fact, that has presently led OD to co-produce the forthcoming Freestyle Fellowship EP.

However, despite the overwhelmingly positive response to OD's opus, there still remains the narrow-minded minions of mainstream confirmation-the surface dwellers. "It's a shame to say," OD hesitates, "but it's like if everybody likes it, then there's probably something wrong with it." Not so in the hearts of the "TDK and Maxell crews" though-the (earth) core audience of true heads, where things are just starting to look right.


Mush Records