BBE Records is proud to release the Jay Dee instrumental version of his successful Beat Generation album, Welcome 2 Detroit. Jay Dee blends his unique Hip-Hop and R&B productions, along with left field twisted instrumentals and jam sessions. The instrumentals display Jay Dee’s phenomenal skills as a producer, musician, DJ, and overall music enthusiast. By far, Jay Dee is the hardest working Hip-Hop producer in the world today! Most recently, Jay Dee is known for contributing two tracks on Common’s heralded Be album. His credentials read like a who’s who of Hip-Hop and R&B. Over the past 10 years, Dilla has worked with A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Guru, Madlib (as 1/2 of the super group Jaylib) and his former group Slum Village. Welcome 2 Detroit Instrumentals is only a taste of what is more to come from Jay Dee in 2005. Look out for his yet to be titled follow up to Welcome to Detroit in the fall of 2005 on BBE Records.
Plenty of bands want to take you higher and even more are looking to get you down, but it's increasingly rare to find a record that sounds good with a AAA guidebook and a few hours to get to god knows where, as long as it's somewhere else. Despite the unabated use of adjectives like "sprawling" or "sweeping" or "epic," the indie road trip album has become something of a lost art, with bands mostly forgoing dense, pent-up instrumentation that slowly unfurls and releases-- you know, that lonesome crowded sound. You could blame it on so many bands being from autophobic NYC, or that the Pacific Northwest gods of indie are still going too strong to already be a primary influence, but neither would explain New York's Cymbals Eat Guitars' Why There Are Mountains. While there's plenty of geographical signifiers on their debut, it's almost topographic in its approach, without hooks and choruses so much as map-like layouts of mountains and sloping valleys.
Six-minute opener "...And the Hazy Sea" has Why They Are Mountains sounding like it could immediately implode, kicking off with the kind of cataclysmic blowout Built to Spill used to get to in a few minutes' less time. Occasionally adding reverbed guitar and electric piano to give an eye-of-the-storm calm, the band reaches about six different crescendos; it's less showy theatrics than Cymbals Eat Guitars just packing a lot of ideas into their songs. It's tough to consider structures this unpredictable to be templates, but upon hearing the subtle instrumental shifts of "Indiana" evolving from noise-rock interlude to a horn-led piano waltz, you locate a certain pretzel logic in these songs-within-songs. Yelpy and adenoidal, bombastic and yet unkempt, you could pretty much slap a sticker on this thing saying "RIYL: indie rock."
"Some Trees (Merritt Moon)" emerges from the feedback exhaust of "...And the Hazy Sea" into two minutes of tightly coiled post-punk dance and strangulated, sugary hooks. At first an environmentalist's lament of suburban sprawl, a much more sinister effect of deforestation is revealed-- "I was thankful for the mystery/ But by the time the girl had hanged herself/ I could have looked out my back window and watched her neck just snap." CEG are rarely as dark as they are on "Some Trees", but besides a sound engineer, the group also shares with Modest Mouse a tendency to turn supremely stoned observations into startling lucidity.
Why There Are Mountains gains as much impact from its quieter moments, especially "Share", which parlays queasy, whammy-bar shoegaze atmosphere into a defeated, yet regal procession of horns. As its followed by "What Dogs See", four minutes of echoing rubble and near spoken-word mumbles, it initially seems like a pokey bit of sequencing, but the song evolves into a prelude to the deceptively bouncy "Wind Phoenix", which turns personal devastation into a sing-along. The scattered lyrics could pass for a whimsical recollection of an Indiana youth spent watching Notre Dame football and listening to Sub Pop until you focus on the song's macabre laments.
What's most admirable about this sophisticated self-released debut is Cymbals Eat Guitars' willingness to think big with gestures that shouldn't fly in the hands of a young band, instrumentally or thematically. Occasionally, albeit rarely, it leads them astray, as in the closer "Like Blood Does", where the group dawdles a bit too long before reaching its arresting conclusion. But that's a minor quibble considering how Why There Are Mountains ends up being like any great result of wanderlust-- here, the journey is the end not the means; fortunately, that gives Why There Are Mountains astounding replay value.
— Ian Cohen, March 16, 2009