Depending on your point of view, The Find is either an album whose ideology and overall vibe are stuck in the '90s or a new-millennium hip-hop album that bears influence of the foundation while providing an updated spin from a talented artist.
The latter sentiment is most accurate. Producer/MC Ohmega Watts and a host (and that means host) of friends make The Find a worthwhile listen for any hip-hop fan. With Watts in control, he takes obvious nods to iconic producers (Pete Rock, Diamond D -- he rhymes similar to Large Professor) and the sound of hip-hop's '90s renaissance, while rearranging it in his own distinct way. The six-minute "A Request" is an updated '90s head-nodder with a two-minute rideout that appropriates everything from Souls of Mischief to Gang Starr, with some timpani/cowbell percussion to boot. Ohmega lays down a gritty, strutting groove for "Full Swing" as MCs Neogen and Deacon join him on the mike for an old-fashioned cipher. But even in the midst of a staple track like this, Ohmega manages to finds about 20 seconds in the middle of the tune to do some electronic space traveling. Watts also shows himself a capable and diverse producer, venturing outside the realm of the hip-hop idiom. "Your Love" is a hip-hop/soul vehicle for singer Tiffany Johnson, while "Treasure Hunt" (featuring Sugar Candy) is straight-up authentic dancehall-style reggae. The electric guitar shredding through "Groovin' on Sunshine" highlights one of his several largely instrumental tracks. The Find is very close to a perfect creative balance between exploration and traditionalism, and an impressive debut from a hip-hop commodity.
With its original members taken from the principal chairs of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig String Quartet has been a strong force on the chamber music scene since 1988. Its dozens of recordings have covered repertoire from the early classical to the most cutting-edge avant-garde. In 2009, the ensemble returns to the roots of its repertoire with the beginning of a survey of the Haydn quartets. Curiously, the group has chosen the Op.
51 String Quartet, known better as "The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross." Haydn originally composed this commissioned work for full orchestra, but his own versions for string quartet and oratorio are much more commonly known today. The work is, as would be expected, deeply solemn and earnest. Haydn himself commented on the difficulty in composing a piece with all slow movements, and the same difficulty exists in its performance. The Leipzig Quartet, however, succeeds in maintaining a great deal of energy and forward momentum while retaining the dignity and tone of the piece. Intonation and articulation are splendidly refined throughout. Haydn assigned the majority of the melodic duties to the first violin, and Stefan Arzberger's sound definitely comes to the forefront, but the important and often descriptive accompaniment is still clearly audible. MDG's sound is clean and pure without being dry. Listening in SACD mode gives listeners the sense of being surrounded by the quartet in a church.
MDG also offers its 2+2+2 sound, but listening to it requires the addition of more front speakers and rewiring existing setups, something with which few listeners are likely to bother.