Count Bass D is a prolific rapper and beat producer who released a dozen studio albums between 2005 and 2012. He was mostly silent afterward, though, until he released Instantly New earlier this year. His new album is a departure from his earlier work, using conspicuously synthetic instruments instead of analog samples to create a laid-back, jazzy sound. Yet he remains old-school in both his loping rhythms and his rapping, which evokes the low, stony cadence of MF Doom.
It's an unusual style, but it's more accessible than either Doom or the computer instrumentalists who dominate contemporary rap. Count Bass D's rhymes are straightforward and end-stopped in the classic style. His boom-bap beats do not stop for breaks or veer off into hi-hat tethered maelstroms like southern rap. This is music from an experienced craftsman who is expanding his sound without losing sight of the listenability that has sustained his career. It is not instantly new so much as immediately recognizable, even as it departs from what Count Bass D has done so far. At this point, the library is large enough to absorb any new volume.
Count Bass D plays Stage 112 Thu., Sept. 15, at 10 PM with Phrill and Milky Way. $5.