STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168587-26471 LABEL: Illect FORMAT: Digital Only Album
Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
Philadelphia-based Joshua Toala has a history of scoring music for a variety of TV network production companies, as well as having worked on a couple of Christian hip-hop albums with Datin and Young Joshua under the moniker Tee-Wyla. Joshua obviously has a penchant for instrumental music as both these two previous releases are available as complete instrumental versions alongside the originals. 'Journey' only exists as an 11-track instrumental version though. Joshua obviously appreciates and is comfortable working with diverse musical styles: the first five tracks are lo-fi grooves reminiscent of some of the more chilled moments of LTJ Bukem's 'Earth' series of compilations, but "Endtroduction" takes a dramatic turn into a rock guitar solo piece and you're rather left wondering where that came from! The remaining tracks could be described more as R&B-tinged electronica and are easily imagined as either movie underscores or underpinning a rap, with tight programming and lazy bass-lines. The mixes are well-crafted with plenty of controlled low energy that sounds great on a subwoofer. If you approach 'Journey' as a conventional album you'll probably be disappointed, as it doesn't feel as if it all hangs together as a single project. With most tracks being short, in the one to three mins realm, it also has rather an unfinished feel, as if it could have been developed more. However, if you approach it as a beat tape showcasing ideas then it makes more sense, although I do then question whether people are willing to pay much for it.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out