The refreshing sound Fred Ones adds to the underground is a full one, moodier than the mainstream allows but a sound as well thought out as the ones on the radio. The rappers on his Phobia of Doors -- his first record away from his duties as Sonic Sum's DJ -- are a mixed bag when it comes to skills, varying from serviceable to exciting. With such a long list of names, it may not be a surprise the quality varies.
What is a surprise is how well Ones handles his guest, simply giving M. Sayyid and Creature a phat beat for their vivid tale of gambling while getting busy all over Sinnagi's rapid, heard-it-all-before rap. What keeps the album from being a home run is that all these upstarts have too much to prove and they could stand to learn a lesson from Rise & Shine and Seraphim, who actually seem to be interacting with Ones.
Their "ManMade " is the all-over-the-place highlight of the album, with Ones bouncing between robo-electro, horn sections that trip down stairs, and Italian horror soundtracks. Wish all the rappers could have such great dialog with the producer -- his name is on the cover after all -- but Hanger 18 almost do on "Evolve." Slug's track is very good and everything else is more than passable. There's the title and the door noises that open and close the album, but none of the rappers seem concerned about the door-phobia concept. It's just one of the head-scratchers on an album that's very good but too scattershot to be classic. There's a better showcase in the future for this smart and deep producer; you can just feel it. Better give Phobia of Doors some attention now before the real deal comes and you have to play catch-up.
|Phobia Intro||Fred Ones feat: Akbar||2:48|
|Rush Cowboy||Fred Ones||3:27|
|The Same Still||Fred Ones feat: Creature / M. Sayyid||3:15|
|The Puppet MC.||Fred Ones feat: L.I.F.E. Long||4:25|
|Future Intrld||Fred Ones||0:32|
|As Seen By||Fred Ones feat: Blowout||2:57|
|Man Made||Fred Ones||3:39|
|Evolve / Tim Baker||Fred Ones||3:12|
|2087||Fred Ones feat: Yazeed||4:40|
|DSK Intrld||Fred Ones||0:30|
|One Last Stab||Fred Ones feat: Rob Sonic||2:39|
|Some Seeds||Fred Ones feat: Vast Aire||3:39|
|Sex and More||Fred Ones||4:08|
|[Untitled Track]||Fred Ones||3:45|