18 January 2010

Wu Tang Clan Aint Nothing....

Tom Caruana, founder of Tea Sea Records has decided to up the Rap/ Rock crossover game and splice the Wu Tang Clan and the Beatles into a two-headed chimera. I know what you're thinking, but stick with me.

Yes, the Beatles are one of those acts that are pretty untouchable; legends of their time and great innovators, while the Wu changed the face of hip-hop, and had instrumentals from the RZA.... 'What good can actually come of this union?' you're most likely asking. As soon as C.R.E.A.M. drops, following a cut-and-paste intro, you breathe a sigh of relief. This is not the dumb-as-hammers mash-up that followed Jay-Z colliding with Linkin Park, or the "Track A + Track B = Track AB" chops that 2Many DJs have made their trademark. Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers rearranges The Beatles' instrumentals into completely new and unrecognisable rhythms, which deserve praise in their own right, and shows no mercy in hacking up the mighty Wu.
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A personal favourite has to be Got Your Money, which best bridges the gap between the boom-bap backed aggresion of ODB complaining ladies aren't making it with him, and the delicate melodies of The World's Biggest Band. Uzi (Pinky Ring) brings all the jump-up energy of the original, and carefully deploys fragments of Lennon as hype vocals. Again, the experiment proves a success, adding new dynamics to classic flows. There's a few that fail to hit the mark; Da Mystery of Chess-Boxing is more of a curio - it's pretty much impossible to ruin this tune, but the remix doesn't really bring much to the table (it's still great). Similarly, Cross My Heart is a little confusing, pitting the the descending melodies of the Harvey Averne Dozen's cover of The Word against the Wu. Unfortunately, the choral vocals and mellotron nag at brain, rather than complementing the acapella, though the opening sample of "stupid fool, you're forcing me to kill you!" is just awesome.

For the most part the synthesis is succesful, and as a remix album, Enter contains some wicked updates of classic hip-hop. However, it's the attitude behind the album that makes it so appealing - Caruana's love for both acts shines through, especially in his cut-scenes which pit 1960's news broadcasts against the Wu's chop socky heritage. Money tracks down the classic interview where the broadcaster asks "are you individually millionaires yet?" and the Fab Four cheekily reply "not yet... a lot of it goes to her Majesty; she's a millionaire." There's interviews with fans, brilliantly cheesy Shaolin Warrior quotes, and occaisonal discourses between the two. As a showcase for Caruana's production abilities, it's flawless, and demonstrates that Caruana is well-versed in old-school beat-burglary and production. Well worth the bandwidth.
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Dig it.

In other news, I'm getting very into Micoland and Holly Bretton on the Dead Channel 'net label (cheers to Weaponizer for the recommendation), and will get a review up shortly. Massive Attack / Portishead - slow grind electronica colliding with glitch-pop and dub. Nice.

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