Running Shit Like College Athletes: earoh’s JUCO

Chris Daly takes a quick look at the Los Angeles producer's latest beat tape.
By    September 8, 2020

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Chris Daly‘s shit knocks like side doors.

By day, mild-mannered, L.A.-based Evan Gabriel can be found innocuously digging through crates, penning stellar music reviews, or interviewing some of underground hip-hop’s luminaries.  By night, however, he becomes earoh (which stands for Everything A Reflection Of Home), the (presumably) masked (we are in a pandemic, after all) hero your ears need right now.  On JUCO, his latest beat tape out now, the beatsmith/producer drops 20 minutes of nasty over 10 tracks that will inspire you to put on your own cape and make the world safer for beatheads everywhere.

Told “through the lens of college athletics,” earoh “works to address the notion of resting on your laurels. By rejecting inaction and complacency with past accomplishments, the collection poses the question: what do the trophies of our past bring to the present?”

While the album opens with the subtly stirring “TALK TO ME,” with Gabriel’s plaintive, distorted vocals pleading to “talk to me like you understand,” he quickly jukes into one of the album highlights, the looped sample, 70s Sunday funk gloriousness of “CAN’T HELP MYSELF.”

As though he was dipping in and out of a phone booth to confuse his pursuers, earoh again to enter a landscape more of his own making.  The remainder of the tracks concentrate much more heavily on mood and atmosphere, heavy on synths and percussion.  From the spooky, relentless “ERWIN MERVIST” to the 1980s-indebted keyboard workout on “DOG DAYS,” it’s the back end of this beast where earoh truly shows off his crime-fighting style.  He gives us otherworldly space jams by way of “BOBBY BRUCE,” robotic love songs in the form of “PRIVATE LANGUAGE” and cosmic loose booty rattlers with “SCI-FI.”

Album closer “BRICKS ON YOUR FEET” takes literally the opposite approach that it’s name would imply, allowing the listener to drift off into the ether to ponder whatever it is that superheroes ponder.

So the next time you look up, into the sky, that isn’t a bird or a plane.  It’s your friendly, neighborhood producer earoh, here to set the world right.

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