Dig Baton Rouge

Album Review: The Autodidactic Instrumentals Vol. 1

By Pat Gunther

Baton Rouge native and up-and-coming instrumentalist AF THE NAYSAYER dropped his debut EP, The Autodidactic Instrumentals Vol.1 on Tuesday, Sept. 2. From the opening track “R-96,”AF grabs you with intriguing and eclectic beats on a tape that should, for all intents and purposes, feature the work of an MC. However, it’s the years of dedication to his craft that separates Amahl Abdul Khaliq’s beats from the majority of producers in Baton Rouge.

Here’s what we love about it.

Imagination

The beat tape, which spans about 24 minutes over the course of nine tracks, feels a bit disjointed at times but more than makes up for it with it’s virulent and imaginative production. From the get go, listeners are hit with a dose of old-school soul and 808 inspired drum kicks with various tinges of glitch and electronic music. Additionally, a personal and relatively active tape makes The Autodidactic Instrumentals Vol.1 stand out from many of the amateur beats and production work floating throughout the Red Stick.

Old School Meets New

Joints such as “Shock” and “The Wait (Controller Remix)” get pretty punchy and old school at times, but tracks like “Sunday” and “The Bizness” reflect touches of the modern day hip-hop/electronic game. Throughout, though AF THE NAYSAYER peppers the tape with a touch of the old and a dash of the new.

Throughout, the tape provides listeners with an awesome outdoor soundtrack just as AF, a pretty solid BMX enthusiast, intended it to. The wide-ranging influences, from the late 90s hip-hop to glitch and jazz, are what makes this tape an impressive listen in the scheme of Baton Rouge music, and certainly will expand the already growing scope of Dolo Jazz Suite’s reach.

Quick Shifts

Furthermore, with the lead single “Sunday” registering at just over 4 minutes, and subsequently acting as the tape’s longest track, The Autodidactic Instrumentals Vol. 1 switches up rather quickly, abruptly and effectively changing the pace of each song within a couple of minutes. In the age of the Internet, where attention spans have dropped and a demand for new, fresh material has skyrocketed, this maneuver seems to pay off for AF THE NAYSAYER.

Clearly, the painstakingly detailed and thought out instrumentals, which were made over the past several years and released at an appropriate time, have served as a reminder for AF’s keen ear and musical acumen that he’s gained throughout his time as a Red Bull Music Academy ambassador for the Southern states.

Authentic and Local

With a lick of Southern swing, a little west coast boom-bap and an increasingly popular genre in glitch, this tape provides fans of each genre with a palatable and intriguing blend of many different styles. Above all though, the product that AF has created is unique to Baton Rouge in the sense that not many artists in the Red Stick are committed to this up-and-coming popular sound that has swept most of the electronic music industry in New York and the music mecca of Los Angeles.

In the spirit of growth, expansion and getting noticed, The Autodidactic Instrumentals Vol.1 is hopefully an indicator of what’s to come in Baton Rouge. If the Capitol City ever hopes to catch up to the Southern musical hot spots of New Orleans, Austin or Atlanta, timely and interesting music such as the songs on this tape are an absolute necessity.

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