The stunning diversity of new sounds – from hip-hop to house — coming out of San Francisco is consistently amazing, and the debut album from Afro-Mystik gives notice that the Bay Area doesn’t have any intention of letting up any time soon. Afro-Mystik owes their future-organic sound to a unique combination of production/tracks by Chris Smith (aka DJ Fluid) with the in-the-flesh talents of drummer Simone White (Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy), Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn (who can be found here working the upright bass), the rhymes of Ismael Azeem (who’s worked with Spearhead) and the luscious vocals of Liana Young.
In lesser hands, such a mixture would quickly turn into an acid jazz/poetry slam train wreck. However here, the controls are set for the heart of darkness and, working the funkier end of the spectrum, Smith and the rest of Afro-Mystik come up with a dense and tightly wound jam. Never giving into the temptation to knock the beat up a couple notches, things are kept decidedly low-key. Yet, far from being mood music (or, worse yet, trip hop), Future Tropic manages to its own form of downtempo.
First appeared October 1999 at CDNow.com.