Expect Lee Bannon’s name to be a whole lot more familiar in the next few months.
The Sacramento beatmaker has been kicking around since the tail end of the last decade, cutting up Marvin Gaye (2008’s Me & Marvin), working on beats for the likes of Talib Kweli and Saigon, and collaborating in earnest with neighbour Chuuwee (2010’s Hot N’ Ready). More recently, he’s planted himself slightly more forcefully in the leftfield: 2011 saw two oddball EPs for Plug Research, and last year welcomed the beguiling Fantastic Plastic LP, which, at its best, sounded like Oh No jamming with WANDA GROUP. He’s also yoked himself to fast ascending teen rapper Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era team, working as their tour DJ and producing Bada$$’s fine ‘Enter The Void’.
As SPIN report, Bannon’s been keeping busy with Pro Era’s Chuck Strangers and rapper Kwame3000 as Super Helpful. Following on from last year’s ‘Sumo’ cut, the trio have just dropped a new free EP, The Help, and it’s ace from end to end. In contrast to this year’s Caligula Theme Music EP – which barely resembled a hip-hop record at all – The Help sees Bannon pull together productions that come like Dilla heard through thin walls (‘Lawns’) or Just Blaze baked in a kiln (‘Drug Tested’). As far as the rapping goes, there’s not much heavy lifting on display, but Strangers and Kwame3000 serve as amiable hosts. The Help somehow manages to sound simultaneously throwback and space-age, and it’s well worth your time.
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