Jern Eye – Authentic Vintage

Jern Eye

Insight (feat. Noelle of The Rebirth) Download
Just Enough (as Lunar Heights) (feat. Jrod Indigo) Download
from Authentic Vintage (2006, Nataural High)
Buy at iTunes Music Store

Authentic Vintage is a suitable title for the first solo album from Jern Eye on NatAural High Records. He’s an MC with Oakland’s Lunar Heights crew as ‘Small Axe’. Together with MC Sizwe (Spear Of The Nation) and MC/DJ Khai (C-Lo Cigarillo), they have been around the bay area for over 10 years, sharing stages with KRS-1, Blackalicious, Dilated Peoples and many more.

The ‘Heightsmen’ are strongly influenced by reggae but there’s not much evidence of that here as Jern Eye and his producer mates: Phil Jahns (aka Doc Phil), DJ Vinroc, D’Nae and Nick Andre, move b-culture onto the next hip hip phase; see ‘Skate’ (Daedelus was filling me in on this ‘the latest thing’ last week, not that a South Coast boy can comprehend such things).

The ‘Intro’ is particularly promising with big cinematic blaxploitation strings until the plug is pulled and ‘Power Animal’ gets you into the hip hip bounce. There’s some big strings on ‘What They Say’ and some good lines but fans of the UD will go for ‘Whoa!’ ‘You’ is closer to the European Stereotype meets Al’Haca style, which is a particular Hectic favourite along with the ‘big’ sound of the title track, the jazzy keys of ‘Combat’ and the breaks congas of ‘Copacetic’ (with jazzy flute!). So there’s enough there to keep me happy.

Other names that feature are Noelle Scaggs (of Gilles’ favourite ‘This Journey In’ by The Rebirth) on ‘Insight’ (which is probably the most commercial track) and Jrod Indigo/Lunar Heights’ ‘Just Enough’, with some DJ Icewater scratchin’. The bonus track, ‘Best Bar’ is included on the compilation by DJ Icewater, Develop[Mental]1 (also on NatAural High Records). Sounds good. Big up the Bay area. (Gerry Hectic)

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