Personnel: Aaron Abernathy (vocals, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards); Malik Hunter (vocals); Zebulun "Z" Horton (drums).
Audio Mixer: Curtis Cross.
Recording information: Stank Babies Studio.
Arrangers: Nat Turner; Black Milk .
Not really an "all-instrumental" album but a "very-instrumental" album nonetheless, The Rebellion Sessions finds MC Black Milk acting as orchestrator and producer for Nat Turner, aka his backing band, who are named after the U.S. slave rebellion leader. Featuring Malik Hunter on bass, Zebulun "Z" Horton on guitar, and Aaron "Ab" Abernathy on keyboards, these four co-conspirators have likely found a time machine, as they perfectly re-create the studio sound of the '70s. Cymbals snap, basslines thump, and guitar lines crackle across a wide sound spectrum, as if the 128 kbps Mp3 never happened. The music falls somewhere between Miles Davis electric-band albums of the era (think Big Fun) and the tamer work of George Duke and such, but oddball touches suggest this is 2016 or so, as the descending, drippy keyboards of "You Need This Light" are post-A$AP Mob, post-syrup sipping, and post-Madlib. Speaking of Madlib, the smoky aesthetic of the Stones Throw label is all over this LP, although The Rebellion Sessions also comes with a Detroit punch, some electro, and a J Dilla influence, best heard on "Traveler," where Kraftwerk and ESG jam a bit after listening to a stack of broken beat and 4Hero. The LP runs at almost an EP's length and some cuts are cut short when they should have run longer, but The Rebellion Sessions can make any day funkier and more flared, so file this next to Oddisee's equally soulful The Odd Tape and consider 2016 the best 1974 since 1974 itself. ~ David Jeffries