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Production Breakdown: Jack Splash’s “Baatin (Missin U)”

Posted by Richard on 11/13/09 | Filed under Features, Production Breakdown, Jack Splash
Jack Splash
This week we featured quite a few tracks worthy of a Production Breakdown: Vegas buzzmaker Marion Write brought us “Much Appreciated,” a catchy, Trade Voorhees produced joint seemingly sampled from an calliope-led instrumental version of the Chordettes' '54 hit single “Mr. Sandman” (No luck tracking down said cover, unfortunately), Booth favorite TreaZon's latest promo single boasted a beat oddly reminiscent of Soundtrakk's work on Lupe's “Hip-Hop Saved My Life,” Aftermath producer Focus paid homage to Dr. Dre on the aptly-titled “Homage to Dr. Dre”... and then there was Jack Splash, who made a splash in the Booth with “Baatin (Missin U...),” an artist-produced response to the recent, tragic death of the titular Slum Village member.

The Floridian singer/songwriter/emcee/producer, decidedly left-of-center dancefloor-scorcher “I Could Have Loved You” left my interest piqued when it hit the Booth back in June, and the Lupe-assisted “Flashback,” was even more weirdly intriguing, sounding something like Prince covering “Ob-La-Di.” “Baatin” is the least experimental of the bunch, an electro-hip-hop jam that didn't make a huge impression on first listen. Of course, the first time I listened, I was idly browsing through the week's features, listening to thirty seconds or so of each through my laptop's speakers – not the best way to judge beats, admittedly.

Once I mustered up the energy to slip on my trusty Bose on-ear headphones (which sound pretty damned good but, like all Bose products, are way overpriced – I heartily recommend receiving them as a gift) it was a different story. Most of the tracks I've discussed in these columns caught my ear through melody and harmony, but in the case of “Baatin” it was the texture and detail that grabbed me from bar one and wouldn't let go. OK, not bar one, exactly – I can take or leave the sorta Fat Albert-sounding intro – but the moment that that those low-frequency synth blurts came into the picture, I felt like the song was giving me a brain massage. The staccato keyboard stabs that persist throughout the song are also downright entrancing: chilly, with a metallic resonance. And then, of course, there's the climatic instrumental outro, which throws some bombastic brass into the mix.

Does 'Baatin's surplus of style undermine its emotional content? As you may have guessed by the fact that I posed that rhetorical question, I feel like it does, a little. Splash's rhymes are as sincere and heartfelt as they come, but the texture of the beat seems to, overpower his presence on the mic (I think the Prince-ly falsetto he showcased on previous features packs more of a punch than his flows, personally), and the track ends up feeling more funky than elegiac. But that's a small criticism, and this column is called “Production Breakdown,” not “Emotional Breakdown” (fortunately, since I don't think I could handle one of the latter per week). Splash's boardwork impresses regardless, and I know that I'm going to keep my ears open for more from him in the future.

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