It's reductive to say that if you like Deadringer and Entroducing, you'll probably like Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. Then again, that's just the sort of thing you're going to get when you explicitly invite the comparison in your album title, not to mention referencing Shadow and RJD2 in your bio. I don't know much about Metaform, other than the cryptic and cloying one-sheet sent to me, where he calls himself, “a multi-instrumentalist, vinyl villain…whose anonymity, coupled with the divine knack for gleening [sic] the essence of countless genres has positioned him as an act to be reckoned with, as well as enhanced the mystery of his identity. ” By my count, there are 17 things wrong with that statement, but I'll let them slide because the guy's produced a great record.

The music hews to the template Shadow established over a decade ago. Dusty samples, cinematic dialogue stitched in (“The telephone” mines Weird Science for excellent results), crackling hip-hop drums and that gauzy stoned haze ideal for users of tangerine haze. When They Reminisce Over You called it “the most complete hip-hop instrumental album [he's] ever heard.” I'm not willing to go that far, but certainly along with Dilla's Donuts and Blockhead's Uncle Tony's Coloring Book, this is one of the best hip-hop instrumental albums in recent memory. Now if only Metaform can get someone to spell-check his bio he'll be just fine.


MP3: Metaform-“Crush” (especially recommended for fans of Rappin' 4-Tay's “Playaz Club”)

MP3: Metaform-“I Feel Good”

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