Itosha: Circs and Recs

Anyone hoping to find out much about Itosha won't get it at its web site or at its MySpace page either. There's a reference to “Tone bone and I” at the former, and the latter tells us that, “sons of a wealthy petroleum tycoon, the brothers Itosha make music to prove to father that blood is thicker than oil” and that the group's members are Doc Brown (Nestbuilder) and Kitty Hawk (Philanthropist); apparently, the electronic crate-diggers are based in Chicago, Illinois. So we're left with the tunes, which is pretty much what it's all about anyway.

The group's twenty-minute EP Circs and Recs features six easy-on-the-ears hip-hop instrumentals patched together from “ear treasure”—vinyl, VHS, exercise equipment, cassettes, kitchen utensils, video game systems, toys, etc.—found in “record bins, resale shops, alleys, and abandoned warehouses.” All pieces are short yet dense with detail, including the two-minute intro, “Gourds Full of Gravel,” whose warm head-nod leads on to the slow and dreamy “Sequoia” which gets a boost from Cosmo D. Heffernan's cello. The slippery electro-funk of “Saucy Fings” impresses but the sweet tinkle of a glockenspiel and the warm flow of organ help the boom-bap funk of “A Drop a Trickle a Stream” stand out as the EP's most appealing moment. A promising if brief outing.

February 2008