Klaus Layer - The Adventures of Captain Crook (CD)
Redefinition Records is known mostly for working with some of the best and brightest artists in hip-hop from underground legends to certified veterans, but this release marks the first time the NJ/DC based indie label ventured into new territory, literally, by teaming up with Germany’s Klaus Layer for the release of his debut album, The Adventures of Captain Crook.
Klaus Layer, aka Captain Crook, was always interested in eastern German art and music, but it was the fall of the Berlin Wall that truly opened up new opportunities for him to explore a wider range of art and foreign cultures. Klaus was born in Oranienburg, Germany, and while his preference for 90’s hip-hop music and the influence of a local graffiti scene can be seen and heard in his work, he has his own distinct identity as a creator. Klaus cites artists like Michael Hamel, Günther Fischer, Can, Pete Rock, Damu the Fudgemunk and Lord Finesse as sources of inspiration, just as much as he does the Surrealist style of art as well as the audio & visuals found in old movies from the 50s-70s. All of Layer’s different influences, along with some non-traditional sampling resources have somehow been morphed together via his instrument of choice, a sampler, into a unique style of instrumental music full of rich layers, including all sorts of percussive and melodic patterns. The Adventures of Captain Crook is a stunning album, full of beautiful melodies, expertly chopped samples and neck snapping drums, that only seems to get better with each listen. While the album is mostly instrumental, one of today’s best and brightest MC’s, Blu, shows up on not one but two tracks with show-stealing verses on the LP’s two vocal tracks, including the fan favorite “Illest In Charge” and “Come Back” which also features New World Color’s Scienze (of Divine Scienze). This is an album that will stand the test of time and one that defines the label’s motto of Quality Over Quantity.