The Stuyvesants: Refined
The Stuyvesants appeared on the music radar in the summer of 2010 with Brooklyn’s Finest, their take on instrumental hip-hop that included sampled soul tracks from years past. The following year, they gave us The Finer Things, Vol. 1 and 2, which also embraced the summertime feel with one of my favorite odes to BK called “Stoops, Parks & Rooftops.” In 2012, it was Remixed, a laidback reinterpretation of ’90s R&B and hip-hop tunes.
Now, the Brooklyn-based crew of music producer Allan Cole and record collector Darien Victor Birks shares Refined, a groovy mix of ’70s funk and soul samples fused with their loungey hip-hop production style. Forever representing the populous borough, tracks like “This Place (Brooklyn)” and “The Stuy (Forever)” fit right into their signature technique of introducing mere seconds of the original track, then adding their own unique flavor for the remainder.
To seal in the nostalgia, every song is complemented by its own cover art from cigarette and liquor print ads from the 1970s. With 25 tracks, it can seem like a lot to take in upon first listen, except that Cole and Birks’ style is rooted in a relaxed vibe, but with head-nodding beats to follow, where every track flows into the next, making for an everlasting summer groove.
You can listen to the album here.