Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rod Lee - The Producer (Unruly Records/Club Kingz Records)

It was kind of surprising to me, in a good way, to find out a few months ago that Rod Lee's sixth album, which was released in January, would be on Unruly Records. That's like the uniting of the two giants of Baltimore club music, which had always stayed in more or less seperate camps (although Unruly DJs always put RL tracks in their mixes and vice versa). I don't know why it took this long to happen but it's pretty great news for the whole scene. Rod's last album, Vol. 5: The Official was released nationally by Morphis Urban, who were set to reissue his first four albums. But so far they've only re-released the first one, Operation: Start-Up, and with Rod Lee's new album on a different label, I don't know if they're still gonna do the others. Hopefully they will, because Operation: Not Done Yet and Vol. 3: The Pressure are my favorite Rod Lee CDs and it would be a shame if those stayed out of print.

This is also Rod's first album where he produces every single track and doesn't mix in anyone else's beats, with just a few guest vocalists, which is the kind of achievement only a club producer as prolific as him can make happen. This CD doesn't even feature a lot of the Rod Lee tracks that were on other DJ's mixes last year, though, like "So Long Rockin Music" and "Da Block," which is kind of a shame, I liked those. There are a lot of jams on here, though, includin a remix of "Dance My Pain Away," not the one with Bossman but a whole new one with Rod singing different lyrics. The album is available now at Downtown Locker Room, and the Unruly website has an mp3 store now, too, which is selling a lot of Rod Lee tracks that aren't on this album, including an EP called On The Download. Rod Lee is DJing at Sonar on March 10th with Debonair Samir and Aaron Lacrate.

Rod Lee - "Enjoy Yourself" (mp3)
This one's been a favorite of mine for a minute now. I mean, who else would think up a party track where the hook is "it could be worse, it could be worse, it could be worse!"

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