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Silk Rhodes
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  • This Baltimore duo -- vocalist Sasha Desree and producer Michael Collins -- made their recorded debut on the companion to the Stones Throw documentary Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton. "Face 2 Face," a plinking neo-boogie cut seemingly dusted off from a crate of private pressings found in a record warehouse abandoned 30 years prior, appeared with tracks by Mayer Hawthorne and Myron & E, Stones Throw kindred spirits. Silk Rhodes don't present themselves as clean-cut as Hawthorne, nor do they stick to a very specific era like Myron & E. They're also more about mood than traditional songcraft, but they do share a record-collector approach to vintage R&B, filtered through hip-hop. "Personal Use" verges into house with drums and claps that resemble those of A Number of Names' 1981 proto-techno classic "Sharivari," "The System" could be named after the '80s R&B duo, and "Realtime" is mostly a breakbeat. Otherwise, the album is firmly entrenched in the dream world of '70s sweet soul. This stuff can't touch Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn project, which released the dynamite Something About April in 2011, but it has its own charm. ~ Andy Kellman
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