Nick Wisdom and Nate Drobner (AstroLogical) are two Canadian producers merging hip-hop and electronic music for NYC’s Bastard Jazz label. Sharing a deep love for hip-hop visionary J. Dilla and Madlib, the duo established themselves as Potatohead People over ten years ago and has early recordings under Vancouver’s digital label Jellyfish Recordings umbrella. In 2012 Bastard Jazz re-issued the duo’s Kosmichemusik EP. Their debut album, “Big Luxury,” released on Bastard Jazz in 2015.
Their 2nd album, “Nick & Astro’s Guide to the Galaxy,” was released early in 2018, followed by a DJ Spinna 7” vinyl remix. Called a “formidable tandem” by OkayPlayer, their innovative sounds have been supported by the likes of Kaytranada, Soulection, Nightmares on Wax, Pomo, Exmag, Big Boi, and Phife Dawg.
Now comes the “Nick & Astro’s Instrumentals, Remixes & B-Sides.” This project brings together some of the duo’s favorite producers providing some killer remixes.
Leading off the 13-track LP is a brand new track titled “Iced Tea” featuring vocals and lyrics by fellow Vancouver residents georgi and Radina Vee. Silky smooth electronics and soulful vocals, a deep bouncy bass beat and jazzy guitar gets it all started.
“No Sleep Till MTL” is a funked up ditty with horns (trumpets and trombones) and a bumpin’ bassline along with some fine brass solos drive the groove. “Lifin’ Up” is wild throwback to 80s funk style blended with smooth underlying synth laden layers and a sick bass line. Infinite Blaq’s take on “Quest For Love” features some fine vocals and a smooth and jazzy sax line. Up next comes “Do My Thing” by which Kerem Akdag delivers some tastey break beats in the classic West London style. DJ Spinna puts the groove to the test on the Galactic Funk remix of “Morning Sun,” 10.4 ROG places a dreamy wonkiness on the track “All Alone” and concluding the remixes, Sam O.B. whips in disco ingredients to “Quest For Love” and brings additional vocals delivering a bonafide dance floor filler.
Throughout you get a few instrumentals-“Do My Thing,” Morning Sun,” “All Alone,” and “Change Of Heart.” Closing the LP is one more Potatohead People original-“Nightcap.”
Throughout , Jazz, Funk and Hip-hop are fused in to an enjoyable hour long listening experience. It’s a testament to Nick and Nate’s great taste in music that transcends genres and periods.
It’s a winner and as one who loves contemporary jazz, old school funk and disco, I find “Nick & Astros” Instrumentals, Remixes & B-Sides” a compelling package reflecting the duo’s reverence for the aforementioned musical stylings front and center.