Album Review: Transcend
Runtime: 45 Minutes
By: Gene Shinozaki
Listen: Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube
- Sound ft. Amit
- Hear You Say
- Get Lucky ft. Bigman
- Never Give Up
- Dance with Fire
- Paradise ft. Bataco
- One More Time
- More Than Stars ft. Kaila Mullady
- See You There
A beatbox album with plenty of variety! Transcend mixes pop, trap, hip-hop, and of course, beatbox!
Transcend is the follow-up album from legendary beatboxer and vocalist, Gene Shinozaki. While Gene’s EP, Sound and Human, was more of a collection of older material mixed with some produced tracks, Transcend brings all new tracks only seen live, featuring beatbox in every piece.
Five of the songs are beatbox tracks with no loops or effects (beyond reverb) with one more track featuring a guitar played by Gene. Many of the beatbox tracks are staple routines from Gene’s live performances which are now officially released, while “Never Give Up” is an original for the album.
The rest of the album consists of tracks produced with ONLY beatbox sounds, meaning every sound you hear originated from live recordings of Gene and other recording beatboxers. Transcend features four renowned beatbox artists: Amit Bhowmick, BigMan (Korea), Bataco (Japan), and 2x Beatbox Battle World Champion, Kaila Mullady.
Gene Shinozaki is a world renowned beatboxer, having toured in North America, Asia, and Europe. Gene is the 2015 Grand Beatbox Champion and the Grand Beatbox and Beatbox Battle World Champion in tag teams (SpiderHorse).
First off, we absolutely love this album! It starts out strong with “Sound,” a hard hitting trap beat featuring fellow Beatbox House member, Amit Bhowmick, as he raps over the track. “Sound” flows seamlessly into “Everything,” an airy, dream-like track. Listening to “Everything” evokes the feeling of slowly diving into a long awaited dream. Gene shows his guitar chops in “Never Give Up,” a John Mayer-esque track about meeting a special someone, then forgetting their name (hopefully not inspired by an actual turn of events).
Other collaborations on the album include tracks like “Paradise,” featuring Asia Beatbox Champion and recording artist, Bataco, creating a dreamy scene, mixing both Japanese and English lyrics. “Dance With Fire” features Japanese lyrics as well. The cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” featuring Korean beatboxer, BigMan (featured on Ellen) gets its official release, after a music video featured on Swissbeatbox earlier this year. The last collaboration on the album features former Beatbox House member, educator and World Champion beatboxer, Kaila Mullady, in a smooth pop style song, “More Than Stars.” Kaila contributes singing and lyrics which bring a sense of inspiration and awe, as well as her signature trumpet sound.
Fans of Gene’s beatbox will be glad to hear his popular beatbox routines find a home, pun intended. Gene popularized these routines in his competition at the Grand Beatbox Battles: “Jigsaw” and “Home” are finally on an album. Newer beatbox tracks “Remember” and “See You There” are what a present day Bobby McFerrin would have wrote, creating the illusion of a bigger composition, while still being performed by a single performer.