Now. I must explain that I don't review albums very often and that is down to either laziness, bad product or laziness. My inbox groans from idiots sending me links to their latest album which not only sounds like a whiny-voiced twat-monkey rapping over beats produced by his cat but the fact that most of the time I can only hear 'samples' and not the full thing.
You must understand that this blog is for people that appreciate the old school of hip hop and the entire ethos of that culture. So don't send me albums, or rather links to an album that barely contains any element of music that I would even consider 'hip hop'. I'm old and cranky and have no wish to start becoming a fan of you if you don't even have one track that contains a dj scratch.
So, with that initial rant over I can get on with this. The new album Take It Back to Bring It Forward by Beattrix.
First off, this is a proper album. What I mean by "proper" is that it is not a 'mix album' nor is it some cheaply-made piece of tat (although there can be gems in tat) but in fact is a talent-filled slab of 14 tracks-worth of dopeness with a plethora of emcees on hand to give emphasis to the beats.
Boom-bap is the name of the game with each cut designed to keep you either nodding heads, wriggling toes or spazzing-out over beat-driven goodies such as the Mykes-collab Spin That Wax or the solo Fun Times with its' horn-led percussive b-boy beat.
Whilst listening to this album I was really feeling the production. Take a track such as Look Around which features Mykes again on vocals and the layered samples begin to take on a life of their own, from the Quest vocal snatch to the bluesy harmonica tone that provides the chorus.
In all begins however with the intro track which is Beattrix himself demonstrating his scratch and beat skills with a Tricky Tee rhythm and copious amounts of samples stacked on top to show us in the age-old and always mesmerising manner of a hip hop dj why props should be given with a quickness.
Whenever I listen to a song it is always the beat that catches my attention first with the lyrics being second place. Always has been. So that's why Take It Back to Bring It Forward is such a nice listening experience, whether it's the party groove of Can't Do It Like Me or the proper funky breaks in Lines You Walk.
The track Verbal Diarrhoea seems to have been cooked up in the grand groove oven and served hot and smoking on a plate accompanied by funky potatoes and veg with assorted soul food filling up the remainder. Anyone with an interest in those DJ Format / Abdominal collabs would do worse than to check this cut out.
Overall, a solid album with emphasis on the beats and a nice choice of vocalists.
It's from the UK, it was mastered by No Sleep Nigel, it's dope and it's available on iTunes for under a fiver so nip over there and get yourself a copy!