Gangster Movie.

Ital Santos

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Gangster Movie continues the artist formerly known as Jynxx’s reinvention and rebirth as Ital Santos. This new outing has Ital playing the Scorsese of sound as he tells a noir and mafia influenced street tale through an exciting and sinister tape of beats and film samples. Clean bass lines, banging drums, ominous jazz marimbas and snaky guitars populate the soundscapes of tracks like The Traitor and The Attempt while R&B samples and cinematic strings fill time between the subtle military march drum hits of The Warning. The juxtaposition between the smooth sounds of Ital Santos productions and the edgy near violence of the film sample scenes creates a tension that the next track on the tape always cuts through deftly. Gangster Movie reflects a maturity and respect for accomplishment in its restrained yet powerful melodies and dialogue dripping with reverence for an older kind of man-code. Nimbly bouncing between the soulful coos of 70s style breaks and the angry mid-Atlantic accents of 30s crime flicks, the album is wise yet defiant. Chill yet wary. Clean yet grimy. IE yet global. Timely yet timeless. Itals' drums are insistent but never over-the-top. His tunes impressive but never too busy. His basslines potent but not obfuscating. Among the stand outs are The Traitor whose melody is ethnic and mystical, dark and beauteous. The Trial is another, encapsulating the seasoned pugilists, the made men that populate Santos’ dark tale. With its brutal simplicity and unceasingly banging and old school rhythm, the beat’s crisp snares and menacing horns announce that playtime is over. With Gangster Movie, Santos challenges previous notions of beat tapes and their parameters, winning in his gamble that marrying classic crime cinema to hard hip-hop instrumentals could still be fresh with new angles and strong musical chops.

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