PIKE & Mumblebee

PIKE, a local rapper, and Mumblebee, a Bay Area producer, describe their new five-track project as "an acid trip on a space shuttle." Future Sounds may not be that awe-inspiring, but the two musicians have definitely found a winning combination in each other. Mumblebee's rich beatmaking, textured with a wide array of cosmic and robo-futuristic sounds, does come across like he's sending you on a trip through space. His control of his compositions' energy gives these tracks definite forward momentum, and the heavy low end combines well with PIKE's powerful phrasing. The lyrics, meanwhile, get better as the album progresses, from the unfocused and overly busy "Sky Island" to the punchy and incessantly catchy "Lift Off." But it would be nice if the MC's lyrics were more attuned to the musical aesthetic. PIKE clearly isn't afraid to sound different, and here, he takes some risks that definitely pay off.


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