“The Gin Diaries” are about beats, love and Tanqueray… The perfect way to welcome the new year with a mad beat.
Every once in a while you come across an album which becomes your soundtrack to something – driving, dancing, solo street-walking, late night train-riding, smoking, or in the case of German producer Suff Daddy’s latest project entitled The Gin Diaries, drinking. Something to be consumed with your favourite poison, after a night of your favourite poison, or even the groggy, painfully bright hungover morning after accompanied by nausea at the slightest movement, compliments of your favourite poison.
Though The Gin Diaries is a short piece of work, with thirteen tracks averaging a little over two minutes per track (save for 5 O’Clock Suff, Jimmy Jazz and Deep Shit), it is strangely just the right amount that you need to get you by, whether you are enhancing your buzz, slowing it down, or recovering from last night’s excess of it.
Suff is very clearly a lover of his jazz, and like any great Hip Hop producer, he incorporates it into the bulk of the cuts on the album just enough to have that balance of the hard snares and meaty kicks working harmoniously with the soft, buzzy, occasionally cosmic synths (or the Fender Rhodes excellence of guest Jim Dunloop on Jimmy Jazz) and groovy samples he laces these joints together with. Take note as well of the strings which carry Worst Case Scenario to greatness.
Commendably, when diverting from the jazz influence, Suff really does his thing on cuts like Vienna, which sees a continuous synth riff (which would honestly get annoying if the song was more than its length of 1:11) accompanied by chimes, altogether reinforcing the mid-album buzz you should be having by then. Following this is Hospital, another joint which features simple sample-chopping of a piano loop and accompanied by the beeping of a heart rate monitor found in – yep, you guessed it – a hospital! Pat yourself on the back and have another swig for your efforts!
Though mostly an instrumental album not unlike the beat tapes of the legendary J Dilla (who is an obvious influence of Suff Daddy’s style), several artists do provide their vocal talents here, like Miles Bonny on the extremely smooth 5 O’Clock Suff, which lays the foundation for the soul-inspired songs found later on the album, Oh Bébé and Deep Shit, which respectively feature the velvety vocals of Fleur Earth and Mar.
Okay I might be overemphasizing with the drinking thing; truth is, The Gin Diaries does not require your inebriation, but your inebriation may require it. The album’s consistency is in its chilled mood, and though it is not extremely diverse in how Suff Daddy executes this mood, it’s much more than enough for you to not feel like you’re listening to one single 35-minute song. An album of multipurpose and a quick fix of cool, Suff Daddy’s The Gin Diaries should instantly become one of your favourite drinking buddies.