SA-RA CREATIVE PARTNERS

SECOND TIME AROUND | Sound In Color
By JAMIN WARREN  |  January 17, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

Unless you attended the last Winter Music Conference, stumbled across a leaked beat tape on Soulseek, or paid particularly close attention to production credits on tracks by everyone from Heavy D to Jill Scott, you’ve probably never heard of Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Don’t fret: the EP Second Time Around is a brief intro to the world of the eternally fashion-forward bi-coastal production trio before these newest signees to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. imprint unleash their big splash later this year. In the meantime, Sa-Ra (Taz Arnold, Shafiq Husayn, and Om’Mas Keith) even bless us with a rare Pharoahe Monch spot and a tumbling organ collabo with Detroit’s J. Dilla on Second Time Around. Despite their woefully corporate name (apparently they "do business" as well as hip-hop), every day is dress-down Friday at Sa-Ra. Second Time Around is a beautiful mess. Each cut bleeds into the next, and Sa-Ra aren’t afraid to abandon melody or time signature in favor of more-abstract soundscapes, as drums are dropped out of the mix with careless perfection and gravy-thick synth lines emerge on tracks that boast some serious foresight. Just think of this as the first spark of a fire-starting throwback movement that’ll shake the dust off your leather chaps and get your hips into heavy rotation.

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