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James Pants, ‘Welcome’ (Stones Throw)

SPIN Rating: 6 of 10
Release Date: January 01, 1970
Label: Stones Throw

The latest weirdo to emerge from Stones Throw’s hip-hop factory, this Spokane, Washington native takes a distinctively primitive approach to breakbeats. His charming, lo-fi repertoire navigates through funky disco rhythms that clop and clap like an old Larry Levan jam (“We’re Through”), ’80s electro fantasies reminiscent of Cybotron (“My Tree”), and a plaintive funk homage to Pharrell Williams (“Ka$h”). Though Welcome doesn’t quite congeal into an artistic statement — it’s more like a collection of promising demos — Pants flips his shopworn styles with more panache than the average bedroom producer.