Diego Bernal

Release Date: 2009-02-18

As a civil-rights attorney by day, hip-hop beat-maker by night, Diego Bernal boasts a back story straight out of a comic book targeting inner-city youth. His live appearance at Luna Tuesday, celebrating the release of debut LP For Corners, will determine whether Bernal can fill the role, but the album is pure superhero music. Bernal blends orchestra strings and cantina brass with funky bass lines and golden-age high-hat for 19 tracks of intensely focused instrumental hip-hop. Opener “Diego’s Donut” pays homage to late genre-definer Dilla without taking too large a bite; “May Day” stabs at social-consciousness by sampling an immigrants-rights rally, and “Momma’s Boy” is further proof of the limitless versatility of a wordless female soul vocal. Best of all, the album’s free to download at antipop.net. Free. 10pm Tuesday, Feb 24, Luna, 6740 San Pedro, (210) 804-2433, lunalive.com.