Britt's first claim to fame was in his jazz-influenced rap group Digable Planets, where he produced, DJed, and toured for two years, eventually using his acquired connections for his own projects. He went on to form Ovum Recordings with hard house/techno producer Josh Wink, producing the dance hit "Tribal Confusion" under the name E-Culture. At the same time, Britt continued to build credentials by remixing artists like Tori Amos and Yoko Ono. Britt's 1998 solo debut, When the Funk Hits the Fan, was a nod to his early influences, using classic tracks mixed with collaborations with artists like De La Soul, Yaz's Alison Moyet, and ABC's Martin Frye, which in turn helped build Britt's reputation for seeking out quality vocalists.
The year 2002 saw King Britt release the deep house excursion Hidden Treasures as well as remixing The Philadelphia Experiment, which was drummer ?uestlove of the Roots, keyboardist Uri Caine, and bassist Christian McBride's dizzying improvised exploration into jazz, soul, and hiphop. Both albums allowed Britt to fully chase after all of his production whims and he worked every angle, trying his hand at house, techno, nu-jazz, Afro rhythms, and hiphop.
Adventures in Lo-fi, Britt's latest LP, is a pure hiphop outing, harking back to his days with Digable Planets and reuniting him with Ishmael Butler (AKA Butterfly), whose new project is Cherrywine. The Roots' Dice Raw, De La Soul's Quasimoto, Pos, and Trugoy, and Bahamadia also contribute to the record. Britt again uses his deep-rooted connections to put together an album of effortless and organic tracks with new-school flair and personality. None of the tracks disappoint, and that says a lot these days. NICOLAE WHITE
King Britt and Capitol A w/Atlee and Michael Antonia, Thurs May 8 at the Baltic Room, 1207 Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm-2 am, 21+, $10.