REVIEW: Count Bass D – Act Your Waist Size

Act Your Waist Size

Artist: Count Bass D

Album: Act Your Waist Size

Label: Fat Beats

Rating: 8 / 10

Reviewer: A to the L

This has been a LONG time coming.

It seems like we’ve (we meaning the cool kids) been talking about the making of this album, and the processes that were helping and hindering the making of this album ever since “Dwight Spitz” crept up on us and smashed us over the head in 2002. What can we expect? Why is it on Fat Beats? Is Doom on it? Will the “BegBorrowSteel” tracks be on there, or is this entirely new material? Blah blah blah ad infinitum.

But finally €“ the wait is over. “Act Your Waist Size” drops October 17th and because I got it like that (© Baby Bam) those nice Fat Beats people decided to bless me (nh) with an early preview copy so that I can make y’all jealous give you an idea of what to expect before you hand over the hard-earned.

“Don’t sleep on the beats, though.” If it wasn’t already clear to you by now, ‘Internationally Known’ provides further blinding evidence that Count has mastered the MPC in a major way. Here the familiar percussion break gets ‘tinned up’ a little, as D (aided by Fat Joe in sample form) sprinkles vibrant piano rolls over the top and introduces listeners to his Nashville ‘padded room with a view’, where all the magic happens. The uniquely-named ‘Brazilian Landing Strip’ impresses in a different way, as we find the Count coming off in a more lyrical fashion here than on many of his other recent cuts – more than likely because its the first track in ages that runs over a minute in a length! ‘The Slugger Of Louisville’ will be familiar to many of the Count’s hardcore following, as a free download of this has already been the reward for their support. Meanwhile, ‘IMEANROC&RON’ and ‘Lunchroom Table Ensemble’ transport us back to the “Dwight Spitz” era, where track running times are short, and instrumentals usually rule over vocals.

‘Softly & Tenderly’ marks the halfway point in the album and is the second track to feature Count on the singing tip. As with the earlier ‘False Or True’, this cut is dominated by a sweet and syrupy sample, which pushes Count’s filtered vocals even further into the background… its not such a bad thing though, as the vocals here are um… a little… um… ‘off key’. Y’all know what I mean…

From here though, the album goes into overdrive. Count karaokes ‘Leaning On The Everlasting Arms’ to death over a superbly-crafted slice of funkiness, before the Van Hunt-produced ‘Half The Fun’ takes over the speakers. On some old Maxwell-cum-Brand New Heavies-cum-JazzyPhatNastees ish, this track will be lapped up by the Okayplayers straight away… but don’t let them have all the fun – this is some beautiful music for everyone, not just the navelgazers. Straight up.

The album continues with ‘No Time For Fakin’ reaching part three and updating the two earlier “Dwight Spitz” incarnations with Meters-ish stabs and tamborines bubbling underneath D’s vocals, before ‘Junkies’, arguably the strongest track on the album, takes over. Built around a disgustingly thick bassline, rapid piano rolls, and old school claps and hi-hats, ‘Junkies’ features Count breaking down the reality of the drug game, without a gangsta-ism in sight, while the scratched Cee-Lo hook adds the most addictive ingredient to the mix. ‘You Know That You Play This’ follows, and keeps things on a (musical) high, with rubbery organs rebounding off hard-edged snares while scores of vocals samples are dropped in the background.

Its expected that Oriana Lee (Mrs Count Bass D) will pop up somewhere, and its on ‘Pot/Liquor’ where she finally makes an appearance. Less expected is the appearance of messageboard stalwart Kid Captain Coolout on the same track, but his confident performance on the mic, delivered over trademark Count beats, should have you seeking out some more of his work. ‘No Comp’ sees Fat Joe pop up again on the sample tip – this time his hefty weight is supported by a vibrant concoction of synths and pianos while “the Sam Cooke of this independent rap shit” explains that he cannot be fucked with. ‘It Is IBass’ rounds things off – an instrumental piece that rambles just a tad as it brings the album to a close.

Overall, as expected, the Count has came through with another strong outing. Not everything is rosy in the garden (‘Case O’ Dilla’ for example, recycles ‘Low Batteries a little) but the high points here (‘Junkies’ and ‘Half The Fun’ in particular) make this easily worth dropping some dough on. As with “BegBorrowSteel”, I feel that this will be another Count album that his fans will take to almost immediately, but which will be initially a little inaccessible for newcomers. The instrumental feel of most of the work here will be instantly familiar to those with prior experience of the Bass D methodology, but new recruits may need to spend a little time checking their preconceptions at the door before entering.

8 Replies to “REVIEW: Count Bass D – Act Your Waist Size”

  1. u know what else has been a long time coming? the new clipse album.

    stupid jive pushed it back AGAIN, despite the fact that XXL Mag gave it an XXL

  2. Word!! I was able to get a listen to the album(thanks A to the L for the stream link) and I love it 100% but I guess that’s to be expected from a fan since “Pre-Life Crisis” Leaning is my shit I mean, that’s my joint!!! Fire album for sure, but don’t you think Fat Beats was a little lazy by streaming the album in it’s entirety??, It’s like they are priming Count for Bootleggin, seems like a “CONSPIRACY” to me, but who am I to judge. I’m dropping loot on it when it drops for sure!!!

    Dee El Sends

  3. For the sake of protecting my sometimey thoughts… I can’t leave comments on the killer AlTrap reviews… some of them are so brutal that i forget about the honesty. Lol! It’s obvious that you don’t dislike this album… and even though i see signs of favoritism… ;)… this is definitely a great review.

    To the above user known as “Dee El” – i would love to hear from the Fat Beats office… on how it benefits the sale of an album, by streaming the whole of it and putting it on the web… BEFORE it’s released? Some people would call that a leak… others would call it desperate… but in the case of Count Bass D… IS it a “conspiracy”?

  4. c’mon now KCC – you know you’re free to leave comments wherever you like… the reviews don’t bite (much)


    anyways, I’m also interested in this streaming rubbish… I can’t remember any other artist getting this treatment (in such a high quality stream)… at least mess up the sound, or poor frequent drops all over it, the way the review copies were pressed, to help combat the bootlegging – as you indicate – it seems that its always Mr D Farrell who bears the brunt of Industry Rule No 4080…

  5. Please explain your reasoning behind this Joab, I don’t want to make any comments where they are unwarranted…

    Excellent review though AtotheL, I’m obviously incredibly biased but you summed it up perfectly, fantastic review.

  6. “The only person responsible for where Count is as an artist in 2006 is, Mr D Farrell himself”

    Joab, if you’re talking about the fact that the man has expanded his fanbase two-squillion-fold since his debut, or the fact that the majority of his recent work stems from the love and support of his wife and kids, then you’re bang on the money…

    if however you’re making some little snide off-the-cuff remark in response to the whole 4080 comment above yours then you’ve just PROVED I.R.4080 in one throwaway line… 99.9% RECORD COMPANIES DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THEIR ARTISTS…

    yours gibinly…

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