The record is predominantly made up of tracks that appeared on the producer's mix for the Made Like a Tree series in October 2009, and thematically it sits quite close to the aforementioned EPs, albeit with a more broken rhythmic palette. It draws heavily from an American—and more often than not, African-American—context. Despite leaning upon dusted Rhodes keys, sirens, street noise and clipped jazz and soul samples throughout, Vakula manages to avoid issues of appropriation: 13th District is clearly a product of his own imagination.
Practically every track features a film sample, and this is vital to why the record ends up sounding so evocatively urban. Their prevalence lends the tracks a significant amount of atmosphere, and Vakula does a fine job of creating miniature soundtracks for each. Perhaps a sensible analogy is with how Jim Jarmusch (whose Down By Law is sampled on the third track) basically created a movie out of Wu-Tang imagery in Ghost Dog. Vakula may be mining the same sort of smeared nocturnal ambience and Blaxploitation quotes as Moodymann and Theo Parrish, but his tracks sound both sketchier in structure and more deliberately polished in terms of actual sound than those of his American counterparts.
If 13th District has a noticeable flaw, it's that the tracks tend to blur into one another, linked as much by cinematic overtones as their beats' weary trudge. Highlights appear as fleeting elements—the dazed organ melody on "Untitled VI," or the "what do it mean?" dialogue on "Untitled XI." This cohesive mood is what made the tracks such vital mix components in the first place, though, so one can hardly fault Vakula for so ably preserving that sundown-town vibe.