Album: Lyrics Born

Later That Day..., Quannum
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The Independent Culture

Best known, perhaps, as one half of the innovative Nineties rap duo Latyrx, Lyrics Born - the nom de disque of the Japanese-American DJ/rapper Tom Shimura - is the prime mover behind the Solesides and Quannum hip-hop labels, from whose ranks have emerged the likes of Blackalicious and DJ Shadow. On this solo debut, he demonstrates an equal facility on both sides of the microphone, adept both at delivering articulate raps in a quick-fire patter bordering on stream-of-consciousness scat, and at fashioning the infectious backing tracks that carry his missives - sometimes marshalling up to 50 different samples in one piece, as with the opening vocal-sample collage "Dream Sequence". With gritty accounts of real-life tribulations borne along on sinuous funk grooves, Later That Day... recalls Michael Franti's work with Spearhead - particularly on the post-September 11 musings of "Last Trumpet". Elsewhere, he takes on telemarketers in "Cold Call", inveterate moaners in "Stop Complaining", and best of all, rising stress-levels in "Bad Dream". His settings are meticulously-edited montages of classic soul and funk elements, enjoyable but not always explicable. "I have no idea what dude is saying in the hook sample," he admits in the annotation to "Hott Bizness". "Hey pal, I don't make the records, I just sample 'em."