A rapper can score a hit and be easily forgotten; producers, however, might stick around longer, and have more career flexibility, even if they lack the same recognition. Lee Bannon, a California producer who got recognized for his works with the young New York rapper Joey Bada$$, quickly grasped this.
Joey and the Pro Era’s worship of ’90s New York production focused Bannon’s work to fit their sonic world, which meant he became known mostly for creaky beats that were too indebted to the RZA and DJ Premier. Earlier this year, Bannon switched up his style and released the jungle- and drum ‘n’ bass-inspired Alternative/Endings.
Main/Flex sticks to the same haunted mood for the nine-track EP. The EP’s abbreviated length helps Bannon find coherence that was missing from his previous full-length, which pulled from one too many ’90s electronic music strains, be it ambient, drum ‘n’ bass, jungle or techno. Though experimentation can lead to powerful new ideas, Bannon appears to be a producer whose work shines with a tighter focus.