It gives me great pleasure to be back posting after a hectic month of work. Expect much more regular content moving forward, starting with today’s post from Los Angeles DJ/Producer Presto. His early 12″ instrumentals were a staple of my older downtempo and hip-hop sets, so it’s fantastic to be able to bring you word about his new full-length record, State of the Art, an undeniable addition to your summertime BBQ playlist. Presto’s beats have always been rooted in the old-school, sample-based tradition of grandmasters like Pete Rock and DJ Premier, digging deep into a musical knowledge clearly solid on funk, soul, and jazz breaks. State of The Art has a similar feel to Marco Polo’s masterful Port Authority. Here, the LA underground icon has put together a solid cast of guest MCs including CL Smooth, Sadat X, O.C., Fatlip and a host of new names, each with the chops and character to complement Presto’s melodic, beautifully composed beats. While some may criticize Presto for playing it safe, it’s clear that the seasoned producer has chosen the more noble path here, doing the more difficult thing better, as opposed to doing the easy, next big thing worse. Should definitely be part of your 2008 summer soundtrack.

Concrete Grooves
Presto MySpace