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Elaquent, Worst Case Scenario

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Del Cowie

Hailing from Guelph, Ont., prolific producer Sona “Elaquent” Elango has returned with yet another project. Worst Case Scenario is the latest album from Elaquent, whose last full length Less Is More was delivered exactly a year ago.

Despite the relatively short turnaround between projects, it's evident Elaquent continues to grow in his craft, consistently adding layers and meanings to his funky, predominantly instrumental compositions.

In contrast to his earlier releases, like 2010's Persona, where Elaquent freely channelled the frenetic energy of video games and the offbeat spirit of late revered producer J. Dilla to fuel his beats, Worst Case Scenario finds Elaquent conveying Zen-like calm through warm keyboards and jazz-tinged beats.

Tracks like "Maharaja" featuring Toronto singer Allie, "Caviar" with Toronto trumpeter Octavio Santos and "ThisCouldBeUsBut" capture this sedate vibe instantly, yet Elaquent still lets his mischevious side flourish sometimes. "Perchance To Dream" dabbles in deliciously off-kilter rhythms to the point you wonder whether you are playing two different tracks at the same time and "Cookies and Cream," is indicative of Elaquent's deliberately sloppy drums that are somehow always right on time.

But for the most part, Worst Case Scenario is contemplative rather than careening and is, according to Elaquent in a press release, "inspired by moments of reflection in hostels, airports, and trains." It's partly spurred on by his meditation on turning 30 and feeling a disconnect from his friends who are getting married and having kids.

"I don’t want to get old, wondering whether I did everything in life that I wanted to do," Elaquent says in a statement. "This album, Worst Case Scenario, it’s the idea that if all else fails, I’ll know that at least I was able to do all these amazing things in my life."

Consequently, a track like "Last Breath" featuring the distorted, yet emotive vocals of Iman Omari -- which would have been an anomaly on any of Elaquent's earlier projects -- takes on a deeper meaning. Closing with the crystalline "Come To Me," it's highly evident the Worst Case Scenario is one hell of a contingency plan.

Worst Case Scenario will be available in stores on Dec. 2 on Urbnet Records. You can pre-order the album here.

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