Farr Well Fares Well on Chameleon Lifestyles Simulation

By Deuce

Sample laden rap—crate digging, dusty drums, and loops to perfection—has returned with Chameleon Lifestyles Simulation, the recently released Long Player from Farr Well. And before you say anything, best believe this man has a certified hit record on the collection, if not two or three.

The title track, “Chameleon Lifestyles” is absolutely impeccable. Totally flawless, immediately ready for back to back spins or playlists on any station that cares about good music, this opening number on the album is by far and away the best thing on it. In fact, it sets the standard so high that it’s difficult for the rest of the material to suitably compete.

The duo of Sao Mao and Marcus Kar are credited for producing the project and manning the drums, electric guitar, and bass between them. But “Lifestyles” is a jazz junkie’s dream with its smooth pianos, gargantuan drums that are out of this world, and really prominent chord production. Somebody had to pull something out of some sort of crate, milk carton, or record collection to find what sounds like classic L.A. Jay loops during the Pharcyde’s heyday—or even today.

Trust, once they drop the drums, your head won’t stop moving on this one until it’s over. “Drunken Emperor”, which directly follows “Lifestyles”, doesn’t take you quite as high but comes close by aiming in an alternate direction. Again, somebody’s hooked up the funk horns on there, some quintessential Roy Ayers-esque vibraphones, and the most sumptuous ‘oohs’ this side of Lionel Ritchie. The horns themselves could’ve been lifted from Horace Silver’s band, they’re so salient and right.

Such material provides the perfect sonic landscape for Farr’s vocals, which almost always evince a unique rap style. Although he only outright sings on one tune (“Vulnerable Pose”), you can hear that potential in his lazy flows and in the very texture of his voice.

“Papa Hits the Lotto” gives you less than a minute of Wu-Tang type flavor with blaxploitation sounding, low fidelity strings riding atop a vocal sample. It helps to show the range Farr covers on this work which should distinguish him from other rappers by far.

As for me, I’m going back for another dose of “Lifestyles”.

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