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"Out Here: The 206 Hustle EP" by Suntonio Bandanaz (Album Review by Jhantu Randall)

Read More by Jhantu Randall

A few months back I reviewed an album by a collective that went by Swordscool, intrigued by their cinematic sound I was happy to be sent a link to one of the groups members solo EP. Suntonio Bandanaz was the one in that project that grabbed my attention from the first initial listen so to hear him on his new release I was both drawn in and skeptical. The overall production was what gave me the reaction it did so I was worried that I might go into this one already expecting some kind of comparison and hearing everything from that framing, but from the first track, this one built upon what the previous work had already created.

Kicking the project off is “The 206 Hustle (Out Here Dance)” which starts out with an introduction that gives visions of a curtain raising before the sound of up-tempo jazz begins to play. The next track immediately goes into a suspenseful pace which also plays out like a second introduction to Suntonio Bandanaz. The juxtaposition of “The 206 Hustle” and “I’m that Ninja” play well off each other. The same could be said about the proceeding tracks. “The Interlude” and “Mega Dino Choppasauros” featuring Julie C and Shamako Noble blend together quite nicely. As a fan of double speed and a choppa style, I naturally gravitated more towards this track as the horns sounds on the beat matched the pacing and flow of everyone on this track. It just had a boost of energy that came at the right time. The “Advertisement” paused and gave the typical disclaimer you’d associate more with a drug commercial or almost any opinionated piece made public, adding a sense of humor and solidifying the stage show atmosphere this album translates sonically. “Picture it Differently” gives a motivating lock-step as trumpets blare in the background as it pushes Suntonio’s swift delivery. “Advertisement 2” and “Make No Mistake” featuring Graves 33 take this further down into a little darker place as these two parts seem both, out of place and a much needed surprise. Overall it was these 2 that kept my attention as it felt like an intentional transition into the final parts of the release.

“So Out Here” is one of my favorite tracks from a creative point of view. Opening the track as your own promotional advertisement sampling clips of past verses before jumping into the song that allows the room to just vibe was a brilliant way to take this project towards a strong final act. “It’s On” being backed by ivory keys and strings reminded me of what made me love the sound of Outkast and Organized Noize, this all with a Northwest twist to it of course. The last track, “Signing Off” does precisely that as the narrator brings us to the final curtain call as he reads out the sponsors. The entire album was like listening to a live play set to a cinematic yet vaudeville like production. Definitely interested in hearing what Suntonio Bandanaz has in store for the future as I enjoy everything I hear from him just a bit more. Even with some perceived missteps from a listeners experience, overall his work keeps me guessing and entertained ultimately!

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