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Push Button Objects - Ghetto Blaster

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Artist: Push Button Objects

Album: Ghetto Blaster

Label: Chocolate Industries

Review date: Jul. 14, 2003

Something To Vibe To

Push Button Objects, the nom de’ guerre of Edgar Farinas, has often been lumped of late into the “hot new producers” category with others like Prefuse73 and RJD2. The comparison is deserved – these are the beatsmiths working behind the boards and defining the indie scene, much in the same way that the emcees on Ghetto Blaster are working the mic. Of the big names, PBO tends the most towards a funky electronic vibe, similar in some ways to a smoothed-out Prefuse, but with closer ties to the boom-bap of old-school hip hop.

That sound is on full display on this Ghetto Blaster, in all its choppy, head-nodding glory. Most impressive, however, is Farinas’s range – from the banger (“Fly” featuring Vast Aire and Akrobatik) to the ethereal (“Air,” featuring a Subtle-esque keening Dose), the tracks run the gamut from get-up-and-go to sit-down-and-smoke-one. Yet, Farinas manages to mold these distinct sounds within the spectrum of his unique aesthetic, and so rather than feeling scattered or unfocused, the entire LP blends together quite well.

The list of guest emcees reads like the veritable who’s who of indie rap: Mr. Lif, Vast, Dose, Aesop Rock, Del, Akro, and others. Surprisingly, none of the emcees turn in a sub-par performance. On the flip side, however, none of the emcees take the ball and run with it. The result is eminently listenable, but lacking any standout tracks that could help it transcend its background music status. But in a world of bloated compilation albums where throwaway songs make up half the tracks, just managing to make an LP of this sort without a skip-worthy track deserves praise. And the lack of standout cuts doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great summertime album.

Ghetto Blaster is on Chocolate Industries, but word on the net is that Farinas has already moved on. With an upcoming project on Skam, and a working relationship with Warp, look for ghettos to be blasted by more Push Button Objects in the near future.

By Daniel Thomas-Glass

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