Neo funk rising star Buscrates aims high with Blasting Off, his first full-length album. The Pittsburgh-based keyboard cosmonaut has been grabbing ears since his days hooking up beats with the hip hop crew East Liberty Quarters, but after slinging spicy one-offs to a slew of hot labels like Omega Supreme, Voyage Funktastique and Razor N Tape (as well as contributing production to Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y's 2009 project), the time has come for a full-length featuring his growing modern funk repertoire.
"I'm a '90s hip hop dude, but I grew up on that '80s funk stuff," Buscrates acknowledges. DJ gigs provided a working knowledge of the jams that moved a contemporary crowd, and as his collection of keyboards and drum machines grew he began blending the best of both decades with his personal futuristic edge. "I was nice on the MPC but I wanted to have a little more dynamic range with what I was doing," he notes. The self-described "certified synth geek" was soon branching into sounds that recalled '80s legend Kashif crossed with the hip hop bounce of DJ Spinna, and the modern funk community took notice.
For his first full-length, Buscrates has crewed up with an ace team of collaborators, featuring vocalist Sally Green on the bouncy lead single "Lost And Found" and "Eight Nine." Kate Moe Dee takes over mic duties for the second single, "How Ya Gonna Do It," a slinky groove that slides in place alongside groups like the Sunburst Band and Rene & Angela as an exemplar of sophisticated R&B. Adding to those credentials are the sultry vocals of Anda on "Believe," but of course, it wouldn't be a Buscrates set without some stank, neck-snapping instrumentals. "Five Days" and "Sure Shot," both collabos with the drum technician DJ Epik, will rattle speakers and have already been lighting up message boards on recent Buscrates DJ sets. Round things out with some easy gliding, jazzy funk ("Turn It Out" with Brothermartino on flute and "Evergreen" featuring Tony Ozier) and you've got all the ingredients for a high-flying cosmic ride with Buscrates at the controls.