July 10, 2007

Wild Rumpus - Musical Blaze-Up

200712"Neo-DiscoReggae

The premise of Wild Rumpus’ new single must’ve been born from Basement Jaxx’s candy-coated dreams. It’s hard to say what type of fairy would deliver these visions of reggae-disco while a slide guitar dances in our heads. I can only imagine that the Rumpus duo of legends, DJ Cosmo and Gary Lucas, must have a winged costume or two in their closets. But enough about the premise, here’s how the single starts: with just a marching drum fill. And that might be as fine a start as any to throw out those catch-alls like “anything goes” or “glorious mess” for such an eclectic stew.

From Lucas’ taut riffs, to the toasters’ telling it to ‘em, to the reggae hiccup, each part is finely crafted together. Without a whiff of cashed-in novelty, Musical Blaze-up isn’t just willing to take catchphrases like “sound system hoedown” of “bluegrass reggae” to the bank. And neither are any of the remixes. Rub-n-Tug’s Bitches mix shoots the song into the stratosphere and sees what happens to it in zero gravity, Rob Mello returns this Jaxx offshoot to its jacking roots, and Cosmo herself makes sure that dub itself doesn’t get snubbed in this summertime stroll.

Bitches Brew / BITCH-012
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[Nate DeYoung]


September 15, 2006

Kid606 feat. Johnny P - Seaya Face and P.J. Body

200612"Reggae

MC Johnny P disses Jamaican women who keep their skin brown but bleach their faces to look “pretty,” but his message will likely to be lost on the dancefloor. Not that many THC-clogged minds would ponder our man’s critique of post-colonial fallout in the first place (the “P.J. body” is of black PM P.J. Patterson and the “Seaya face” is inspired by Caucasian PM Edward Seaga). Johnny’s baritone accent is so thick and rapidly spat in a typical raggacore fashion that most listeners will just nod along to. That being said, this is Kid606’s strongest excursion in dancehall. He delivers a faithful dubstep groove that tick-tocks to an ace Middle Eastern poly-rhythm and synth growls that resemble a lazer gun shooting blanks (I assure you that they got funk). The fact that this track is produced by the same mastermind behind the vandalistic Ma$e remix, “It’ll Take Millions in Plastic Surgery to Make Me Black” has left me a little mystified though.

Shockout / SHOCK12
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[Cameron Macdonald]