Prologue, the seminal release by St. Louis’ newest imprint, FarFetched Records, brings new sensibilities to old material as the collective makes its bid to usher in the future sound of St. Louis. Bringing together 18 tracks, the release spans considerable ground, ranging from neo-soul to ambient hip-hop and everything in between while avoiding the feel of a hodgepodge. Dedication to pushing familiar sonic boundaries animates nearly every song on the album and ultimately ties the disparate productions together into a cohesive offering. That is not to say, however, that the album breaks cleanly or completely with the past; in a city where musical traditions run deep and are practiced fiercely, Prologue delivers exactly that – the glimpse of a new beginning.
Looking now at some standout tracks, Loose Screwz and Helen Marie go full robot on their respective cuts “Bloom of the Android” and “He Say She Say.” Where the former effortlessly blends trip-hop rhythms, French house filters and a thick, early 80’s low end, the latter delivers a smooth, almost grime-y futuristic R&B burner. On the hip-hop/rap tip, Air Haze and Whiteout twist and wind verses around minimal, eclectic beats with “Artsy Fartsy” and “Stay At Home Daddy” while Midwest veterans Scrub disregard such subtleties on their throwback banger “Double Trouble.”
With one foot in the past and one in the future, Prologue establishes FarFetched as a formidable brain trust of forward thinking artists, who this writer sincerely hopes push past this release and thrust St. Louis into a brave, new sonic future.