Sporting Life - Slam Dunk, Vol. 1

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  • Last fall, R&S released its first cassette in over 18 years. It was a 30-minute tape of hazy beat sketches from Sporting Life, real name Eric Adiele, of the New York rap trio Ratking. 55 5's moved through lo-fi hip-hop and jungle, with footwork flourishes and a foundation of warped audio collage, like a VHS tape on its last legs. It sat somewhere between Actress and early Lee Bannon, with a touch of Eric Copeland's whimsical chaos. Adiele's second tape for R&S, Slam Dunk, Vol. 1, is the first in a trilogy of EPs for the label. This time, he's dealing with sharper, modernized contours, and its stripped-back simplicity is its greatest strength. These tracks toe the line between rap instrumentals and standalone productions. What makes them more than just backing tracks, however, is the subtle depth and complexity in the sample work. "Hydrate The Hustle" laces R&B whispers with a blanket of reverb that sounds like far away rain; it's got the longing and loss of a great Burial tune, without actually sounding like Burial. "Space Jam Money" is a lesson in restraint. The drums are sturdy and the simple, sweet melodies are tender but not overcooked. Twinkling arpeggios evoke LED flashes in the dark, each synthesizer stroke a trail of red lights on an empty road. Galcher Lustwerk whipped up one hell of a remix for "Hydrate The Hustle," though it sounds almost nothing like the original. It's classic Lustwerk, with simple, low-lit house chords, chunky drums and an insistent bassline. It'll fit nicely as a transition between the last few records of a warm-up set and the early rumbles of a peak-time dance party.
  • Tracklist
      01. Hydrate The Hustle 02. Space Jam Money 03. Kill That Shout 04. Hydrate The Hustle (Galcher Lustwerk Remix)