Wendel Patrick Releases New Album
May 11, 2011 07:05PM ● Published by Anonymous
It's been four years since the soundsmith released his first album, Sound:, and started touring the globe on its back. Seeing the world outside the walls of Baltimore is nothing new for Patrick, who spent his formative years in Venezuela and Jamaica, learning piano before playing in reggae bands.
Forthcoming is a step towards the Vibe/XXL crowd, while Sound: was perhaps more in tune with the ears of Urb's readership. Wendel Patrick has long collaborated with Baltimore rappers Saleem (Saleem & The Music Lovers) and Eze Jackson (Soul Cannon), featuring the former on his debut LP and both on the current record. On this album, Wendel Patrick not only features other rappers, but spends plenty of time on the mic himself. This time around, it is as if Terminator X has left the wheels to stand with the MCs he created the track for, going rhyme for rhyme.
Known well for his sparse use of samples, eschewing found loops and hooks for playing his own instruments, Wendel Patrick outdoes himself by using absolutely zero samples on this new record. Nowhere on Forthcoming does this amazing feat show itself more obviously on first listen than on "Ten Gs (Reprise)", where the MC delivers the beat with none other than (and nothing else but) the beatbox. Throughout, the second effort from Wendel Patrick has much more of a hip hop presence than Sound:. "The Cypher", featuring the aforementioned Saleem and Eze Jackson as well as Topix, jumps out of the gate with Charlie Brown piano bars before spinning off into something that jacks the KRS/Rakim cut "Classic" right out of its Air Force Ones. (I can't take credit for thinking about "Classic", Jackson says it himself on the song. I'm just telling you that "The Cypher" follows through.)
Don't think for a second that Wendel Patrick is only noticed by a small section of the hip hop world. Ursula Rucker (The Roots, Josh Wink) noticed, and she lays it down on "I'm Just Sayin'", spitting bars full of the schoolyard braggadocio and exultations of confidence one would expect from Jadakiss when forcing himself into your 'top five, dead or alive' countdown, only Rucker's are flecked with her strong spoken word technique. As the cut fades out, she even asks the producer "Is that OK? Did I do all right?", conveying her confidence while showing a slight bit of humility which characterizes Forthcoming perfectly. Wendel Patrick knows his skills well enough to break down walls between hip hop, jazz, and electronic music. His musical output demonstrates a love for his listener, the carefully constructed layers of sound as architecturally unique as the city of Baltimore itself. It might not hit you on your first tour through town, but let a local show you around (whether the city or Wendel Patrick's music), and you cannot help but be amazed.
For more information on Wendel's new album visit www.wendelpatrick.com.