Under Review

Rob Sonic


Def Jux

Review By Susy Webb

As founding member and Vice-President of the Vancouver chapter of S.P.A.G. (Society for the Preservation of Analogue Gear), I sometimes have a hard time indulging my love of quality hip hop. Having disgraced the S.P.A.G. name in the past by possessing a touch-tone phone (problem since rectified), I must remain ever-watchful of detractors who seek to discredit myself and other S.P.A.G. members at every opportunity.

So was I ever thrilled to discover the sweet beats and saucy vocal stylings of NYC’s Rob Sonic. Sonic is one of those rare triathletes of the rap world, producing, playing, and rapping all on his lonesome. His sound stands out thanks to unique instrumentation: Telicatessen features superb manipulation of the beloved Roland Juno-106, ARP Odyssey and Little Brother, Korg MS-2000 and of course, the Mini Moog! Sigh. Truly a man after my own heart.

Intelligent lyrics revolve around the unsustainability of high-density urban life, the life and times of a failed delicatessen owner, and Sonic’s critical musings on American foreign policy. While the beats are made with old-school equipment, the sound is fresh and experimental, rather than nostalgic. Telicatessen is danceable through and through, perfect to listen to while dialing your rotary phone, writing a letter rather than an email, or kicking back and watching a slide show. Or, you know, if you’re just in the mood for some excellent underground hip hop.