There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
It’s a D.C. groove thing. With the exception of one slick R&B ballad and a soulfully sung portion of the CD opener, the Northwest Youngins’ six-song, 52-minute On the Move (Sound By Charlie/Liaison Records) is largely a platform for this 11-piece go-go outfit’s rhythmic keyboard and percussion work. As with most ’90s local funksters, the Youngins use vocal and instrumental melodic touches merely for brief transitions between lengthy rap-overlaid jams. Pumping out both Chuck Brown–inspired lounge-jazzy go-go as well as harder-edged flavorings, the Youngins occasionally add lyrical and musical quotes from R&B and rap hits such as “Get Down Tonight,” “Sprinkle Me,” and “Pumps & the Bumps.” But most cuts, such as “N.W. Youngins on the Move,” simply emphasize synth-and-conga-supported D.C.-style syncopation, with chanted salutes to the likes of “my main man Skip,” “the K Street Honeys,” and the “5th & I Mob” functioning as lyrics. “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” breaks the pattern slightly, beginning with the Rocky theme and dryly inserting a single line, “rest in peace,” into more celebratory verbal patter. “Rock This Party” appears here twice, in a version sporting numerous roll-call verses and as an instrumental with nothing but the keyboard, cowbell, and roto-tom bottom. While Move’s polyrhythmic beats are often compelling, the Youngins’ loose songcraft seems designed to appeal mainly to the genre’s most ardent followers. Available at local stores. CP