Ever since the days of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, the combination of hip-hop and Jazz has always been a happy marriage, this album is no exception.
Oxygen: Refreshed is a revised version of their 2005 album Oxygen, featuring some new tracks and slightly different mixes.
Consisting of MC Mudd, DJ Ragz and DJ Boom, Jazz Addixx create an album that captures an old school vibe in a modern sound while remaining innovative, pushing the boundaries of what you would expect in a jazz rap album.
Most of the production is handled by Mudd, with scratches provided by the two DJs. Instrumentally, the jazzy sound is captured by the usual array of horns, piano and drums, but also features electronic elements to give it a modern sound. The samples are layered, incorporating the superb DJ scratches, a practice that has become noticeably less common in recent years which adds to the nostalgic feel of this record.
This isn’t just an album where the production outshines the rapping either. Mudd displays his proficient lyrical abilities throughout the album and his laid back delivery flows seamlessly over the jazzy beats which compliment each other wonderfully. Each track runs smoothly into the next, resulting in a very cohesive album and there are no fillers to be found, even the interludes add to the experience. Many of the lyrical themes focus on hip-hop culture itself, with odes to the genre such as H.I.P. – H.O.P. and Something Ya Live standing out.
What I like most about this album is that is has in abundance what many others these days are missing; a simple feel good “fun factor”. It doesn’t take itself too seriously or go near heavy political topics but with its positive lyrics and mellow production, it’s a perfect album to just chill out and relax to. Oxygen: Refreshed truly is a breath of fresh air (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun), using the traditional formula of the MC and the DJ to create a brilliant throwback to the golden age of hip-hop.