You don’t have to gaze too deeply into Kiefer’s tunes before J Dilla peeps back at you. This shit runs deep, an innate part of the Kiefer structuring. It’s in the very bones, blood, and meat that make up these stellar sound waves. This shit is packed with pulsing fantabulistic beats and bumping fucking basslines that’ll get you grooving and moving throughout your house like a dancing buffoon. But there’s something else somewhere in the back. A soul of something thicker and richer that pricks the ear as soon as it takes the stage. Fuck, it can’t be. Is it? Holy shit, it is. That’s the sound of solid jazz licks over slick beats. Now this is something I can definitely fuck with.
The ease with which these tunes stream out is like a greased up slip-n-slide at a summer fat camp. Before Kiefer Shackelford could stand, this motherfucker was roughing up piano keys. His father worked a New Orleans blues style of piano that made up part of the Kiefer DNA. So as those toe-tapping drum beats keep your head nodding, Kiefer fills that shit with deeply intimate moods and melodies. It works like a one-two punch but with music. In a purist world, jazzheads will call this shit instrumental Hip-Hop. And on the other side of the fence, Hip-Hop will call it jazz. But it’s neither and both. Kiefer doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he rides that shit like a bull rider with duct-tapped hands.
The goal of this album isn’t genre crossing. It’s not contrived like that. There’s a purity and simpleness to it. It plays out naturally and feels as organic as honey straight from the fucking comb. But Kiefer takes this shit a step further. Instead of playing out some simple jazz licks this motherfucker decides to add some real emotion in there. Straight up, just look at these track names: “What a Day”, “Socially Awkward”, “Memories of You”, “Agoraphobia”, “Fomo”. This dude is playing out those feels. And sure, it might be a bit bizarre at first to drop it like it’s hot while contemplating existence or existential despair. But, eventually, you wonder how it was ever done another way. Let’s be honest, Nietzsche would’ve read better if he had some boogie and raised the roof every once in a while. And Sartre wouldn’t have been such a whiny little bitch if there had been some funky beats overtop that beloved jazz of his. So if you’re one to kick it to Kant, get down to Descartes, and fuck to some Foucault, then come join Kiefer on this fence and take a listen.