UNAGI PRESS CLIPS
"Local hip-hop producer Unagi is one slippery fella. His warm California beats and cool jazz grooves are smoother than cocoa
butter left in the sunshine..."Grown Man Flowin" featuring Motion Man is a particularly great track -- it's pure summer anthem
material, mixing golden funk with permission to party."
-- SF Weekly
"San Francisco-based producer Unagi's beats sound like 70s porno music...really dope, headnod-inducing music. The beatsmith
blends disco soul and classic funk with hip-hop drums, and it sounds so sweet. Check the double A side singles off his forthcoming
Reinventing The Eel, "Grown Man Flowin" ft. Motion Man and "Song of Satisfaction" ft. Eddie Meeks. On
both tracks, it's Unagi's production that shines the most."
-- Oh Dang!
"Unagi has your regular Hip Hop style, his shit is DOPE. You can definitely tell that homeboy is sitting on a SHITLOAD of samples, because every track is laced with all kinds of crazy shit. I recommend Unagi to everybody, he's got a dope sound, really layered beats with alot of character."
"I love what Unagi does. The California beatmaker stitches soul samples and all manner of groovy bits into fine sonic tapestries...For You & Eye, Unagi enlists Chicago, Illinois emcee Infinito 2017 (Marcellous Lovelace) to do the lyrical honors...Infinito breathes fire over this 7-track collaboration, with a barrage of flows that surprise like freestyles but cohere like spoken word. His stream of social consciousness connects nicely with Unagi's curling basslines, soaring horns, and hard knock beats, as well as Unagi's knack for tempo changes that would buck the average emcee with the force of a mechanical bull."
"Infinito 2017 is one deep brother. An accomplished solo artists in his own right, in the following cuts he teams with another fav of mine, Unagi...There's serious talent at work here. A grassroots journey in preach, poetics and soul, make this guy a definite add to your emerging talent collection."
"This Bay Area cratedigger has our ears' attention over here....All seven tracks here have that feel good early '90's sound that Unagi has mastered."
-- THICK magazine
"Beat arranger Unagi and Chicago emcee Infinito 2017 once again join forces on this 7-song EP. Hip-hop that's political, socially conscious, and adverturous both in the lyrical format and Unagi's challenging compositions. Sweet samples that aren't always just heavy on the bass are looped with funky abandon. You can nod your head or shake your rump to the clever beats. While it's only 17 minutes long, "You and Eye" is powerful hip-hop that will change people's perspectives."
-- Smother Magazine
It's really easy to nod your head to...playing like an old school soundtrack to a summer's day...
Unagi For Lovers sounds instantly vintage as the producer blends funk and soul samples with
hip-hop sensibility, weaving a unique love story with his beats...Unagi For Lovers should be
commended for its imaginative production.
Unagi, California's resident sound wizard, strikes again. This time around, he's adding
"matchmaker" to his already impressive title of "beatmaker". In his role as producer-
turned-Cupid, Unagi's looking for a love connection, or at least looking to help us find
one of our own. To do so, he's armed with five arrows composed of intricately layered samples
and soul grooves...Earnest and sweet, like a walk through a flower garden with your significant
other or gazing into your lover's eyes.
-- Pop Matters
When Unagi's constructing his beats, he creates a distinctively west-coast vibe, usually seeking out old jazzy horns and dirty drums...
Unagi is a pretty creative cat well versed in the art of digging. The samples are unrecognizable, and take on a life of their own within
Unagi's work, a skill not many producers can truly master.
Unagi's latest release, It Came From Beneath the SFC, continues to celebrate his uniqueness. His sound is deceptively intricate,
building grooves out of loops from the '70s and '80s, and adding jazzy horns and pianos or up-to-date drums and percussion...All
in all, Unagi's latest throws a delightful curveball from the norm.
The beats on SFC are still dizzying, and far fresher than most anything you'll hear in hip hop today. Eschewing the slickness that has shoved innovation aside in previous
years, Unagi crafts his beats the old school way, with actual vinyl on actual turntables, sampling the best bits of unlikely grooves and reassembling them into his own seamless
-- Being There Magazine
A mixture of instrumental joints and other songs that feature a variety of emcees,
Unagi's album is sure to get your head nodding as he brings a unique and laid back
approach to beat making concentrating on mastering multiple sounds, instruments and
tempos in crafting his pieces. It's the beats that one should really pay attention to
as Unagi's instrumentals serve as his highlight moments. Unagi touches on a soulful
side of production with a twist of disco and break beat splendor.
-- Hip Hop Co-Op
Japanese smoked eel is one of the tastiest sushi orders, and Unagi serves itself up accordingly with flair and fun. Bizarre but
completely comfortable, this hyper instrumental album is filled with retro vibes and sounds from who-knows-how-many albums.
The collage-like album loops in funny ways with a heavy beat...even majestic at times...thumbs up.
-- Giant Robot (issue 43)
Unagi is one hell of a beatmaker...The difference between him and the millions of
underground and semi-major producers like him is all in how he does it. This guy
really knows how to make proper loops and mix them with like sounds: a skill often
overlooked in more image-based circles...More often than not, his beats are strong
enough to carry the album by themselves...Unagi's definitely one to watch.
In an area -- the Bay Area, that is -- renowned for instrumental hip-hop, Unagi still stands a head above.
The soundsmith's palette is rooted in the rich, extraterrestrial textures of '70s jazz, which he
seamlessly merges with bumpy street beats and worldly wise verbiage.
It's just a matter of time before one of SF's best kept hip-hop secrets becomes a household name. Unagi
has proven to be one of the most consistent and challenging producers of forward-minded hip-hop, replete
with nodsto the old skool. His latest offering split pretty evenly between warm instrumentals and guest
MC tracks that all fit together perfectly as a totally coherent album with NO filler. If you found yourself
a little underwhelmed with the latest offerings from Blackalicious and DJ Shadow this might be exactly the
record you've been waiting for.
-- Aquarius Records
Named after some of my favorite types of sushi, Unagi is a hip-hop producer that has a keen ear for distinct loops and rhythms.
He returns for his third album in as many years this time finding some incredible rappers from all the corners of America to punctuate
Unagi's terrific instrumentals with vocal spittle of urban strife and uplifting lyrics. The backgrounds are peppered with '70's era funk
and Motown sleazy synths. Unagi himself waxes poetic grabbing the mic on the romantic crush joint "Lost & Found". Raise 'em up high on this one.
-- Smother Magazine
While many underground producers choose to limit their palette to classic soul samples, Unagi draws from a variety of decades and genres...
Unagi is at his best when reinterpreting this lovemaking music of the '80s, recycling its cheesy components into something fresh. Not content
to rely on this strength, he continues to effectively run the gamut of source material, dipping into psychedelia, bossanova and more
traditional soul samples.
-- Dusted Magazine
Unagi has a really progressive yet old-school sound, as I imagine a cat digging through crates of records, hour upon hour, determined to find
the perfect fusion of hip-hop, jazz, funk, groove, soul and easy listening. What I really like about "It Came from Beneath the SFC" is that,
despite having over 50% instrumental tracks, and the rest trading between a handful of talented yet diverse MCs, the album maintains a great
sense of continuity while being able to tell a story with no words. It is a collage, so to speak, of different moods, styles and sounds, and
every track brings something refreshing to the listener.
Every song is deserved of mention, the ground covered over the span of these 17 tracks is astonishing...Given how Unagi limits himself to just a portable sampler, cassette 4-track, and live drum machine, his ability is awe-inspiring.
-- Dusted Magazine
We've been getting a lot of demos lately and this is the one I'd pick if I was an A&R. Unagi is a one man loop troop. The way he laces his finds is simple but smooth, he makes full music that does not lack an emcee. I could tell you about all the cuts I was feelin' but there's really not a sour note on here. So, I'll just say Eel is too talented to slip between the cracks, and he won't if you get out there and accept the challenge to find this.
It's a time travel...an enormous accomplishment...we'd like to advice you to listen to this record. A lot.
Unagi's genius is in the way he puts together his collages...You could call Unagi instrumental hip-hop, or you could call it an old-school crate-digging mishmash, but when it comes down to it, these are great grooves for maxing and relaxing; each beat is perfect on its own, or a gold mine for an MC.
-- SF Bay Guardian
this is ####ing really dope. and i'm not just saying that. i'm saying that. this UNAGI beat cd is dope man.
instantaneous headnod...one of the freshest discs I've heard in a long time... With minimal technology, Unagi has succeeded in creating electronic ecstacy... He is definitely on his way to achieving artistic greatness.
The startlingly good debut is the kind of album you want to crank up extra loud on a sunny spring or summer day, nodding your head along to the warm, soulful hip-hop
beats while enjoying the company of friends and Northern California's finest herb. The genius of Unagi is its simplicity...All the songs are short and to the point, leaving the
listener wanting more.
Unagi dexterously glues grooves together...this is a timeless piece of music made of the most delicate ingredients...
Unagi definitely mixes so many styles that it's hard to put him into a certain category, if not impossible. This album definitely will (or at least should) appeal to a lot of people, whether they like hip-hop, soul, jazz or any other type of music. It's also something that you can play for your girl when you're in a romantic mood. I don't know, it's different to the stuff I usually listen to, but I really like it. Just check it out...
Some of the dopest and engaging beats I've heard in a long time - really... All of these one to three minute songs have so much depth they can easily stand alone... both interesting and mesmerizing... Captivating from beginning to end.
-- Underground Sound Magazine
Normally I don't rock instrumental albums, but Unagi has me changing my ways. Honestly I can't find anything bad to say about this album... my only complaint is that it's only 17 tracks long. I'll be one of the first ones in line for Unagi's next album.
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