This long awaited solo debut by LA underground producer Omid (who also records as O.D.) on his own Beneath the Surface label is a solid collection of instrumental hip-hop tracks. From the demonic distorted bassline of “The Sad King” to the frantic drums of “Island Covenant” and the sad Arabic strains of “Ease in the Middle Piece,” it becomes obvious that the man knows his way around a sampler. But while Distant Drummer brings the beats, it’s not entirely groundbreaking, at least not as amazing as some of Omid’s production for emcees like Busdriver and Freestyle Fellowship. While the songs don’t always achieve the depth or scope of, dare I say, a DJ Shadow piece, they do exist as lovely and moving soundscapes, and Omid proves himself to be a technically awesome electronic composer.