Remix

The Illegibles
Headset Zen

Public Works

Our man in the East, Johnathan Baker, is on the hip-hop frontline. Here’s another dope interview, this time with an underground hip-hop act in New York City known as The Illegibles. Peep what happened:

Boom. Bam. Booted. Now I know about three important things:

Public Works, The Garden Studio, and the supreme sound of the ultra-progressive underground rap crew, The Illegibles. I spent a few hours with the group in their converted garden apartment at NYC’s St. Mark’s Place, and got treated to a fantastic peek at the creative machine that birthed The Illegibles and their independent label, Public Works.

The core members, Bravo, Econ, and 8-Cents, spun a complex tale about their ten-year relationship that’s taken them from New York to California and back, thus maturing them into engaging twenty-something music veterans. California heads Econ and Bravo met displaced New Yorkers, 8-Cents and fellow rapper Metis, a decade ago at their Venice Beach high school. With Bravo’s Tascam four-track and Akai S-900 sampler, the four built the fledgling Three

Cities Studio in a So Cal den and started making music. Things gelled in 1995 when Bravo hooked up with producer Joey Chavez and 8-Cents and Metis created the group Extraneous. A year later, 8-Cents, Econ, and Bravo moved to New York and formed The Illegibles.

They describe their music as a “call for content” in response to the deluge of pop hip-hop that the late 90s music culture has embraced. Bravo schooled me on the group mindset: “We want to bring the lyricist back to moody hip-hop like the Jungle Brothers, L.O.N.S., and De La Soul did.” It’s precisely this ethic that fuels the desire in each member to brazenly create track after track of music. Bravo’s beat wizardry blends hip-hop, electro, and absolutely everything and anything else available into a sound that drips like digital drool out of loudspeakers. “We approach beats with the intent of weaving the avant-garde without totally losing the hip-hop, but pushing it as far as possible,” producer and live DJ Econ explained.

About the lyrical component of their music, 8-Cents flips his soul inside out with the sublime confidence of a Baptist preacher. He flutters from the mundane to the intensely cerebral and explores concepts like love and inflated egos in a mind-twisting flurry of masterfully linked words and phrases. Three other rappers, Metis, Axiom, and Ewan Hiatus freelance on the group’s cuts and form the “Slyboots” faction of Public Works. With the addition of occasional background vocals by singer Rebecca, the group serves up hot bowls of sound like a dream team of short-order rap chefs.

The Illegibles have released eighteen tracks that can be purchased with a mouse click through the on-line music house cductive.com. In January, The Illegibles released its third record, Public Works .003. With a grin, 8-Cents warned me about the recent release, “Strictly on wax, though. Strickly on wax.”

God, I hope not. Now I’m going to have to go out and buy a turntable.¿Jonathan Baker

Check Public Works @ www.cductive.com for unreleased and ultra-rare material.

 

33.3

33.3

Asthetics Records

The band known as 33.3 is slow and dreamy music that gently enters your ears and messages your brain with swaying cello tones that intermix pefectly with technical guitar and steady tight drums. It’s perfect music for bedtime or that afternoon chill time. This band just may be what you’re missing in your collection, so you better go pick it up and chill out.¿C.C.

Jay-Z

Vol. 3 … The Life And Times Of S. Carter

Roc-a-fella/Def Jam

“Jigga what?” That’s right, the jigga man is back and he’s got some beats that bump the windows right out of your lowered Integra. The new Jay-Z is out, and why the f¿k don’t you have it yet? The Life and Times of S. Cter makes you want to get a little lady and bump and grind on her ’til you get rug burns from the friction. All tracks blend together well, and the rhymes are tight. This ain’t a hard-knock life anymore¿it’s a jigga life.¿C.C.

 

Karma To Burn

Wild Wonderful Purgatory

MIA Records

West Virginia’s Karma To Burn is taking the rock world and turning it over onto its ugly ass. The music is power rock to the maximum potential and is surely at its greatest form when turned up as loud as your stereo will go. Simple, heavy, no-nonsense riffs combined with low bass lines and punchy drums leave the current type of commercial rock ‘n’ roll in the dust. Did I mention there’re no vocals? Yup, that’s right. There’s no singer to get in the way of this fine music. Karma To Burn is sorta like The C4AM95, but less metallic and more stonerish. With no song titles either, all you have is just an honest pure-rock experience. This album is the soundtrack to my life.¿A.S.

 

Bob Marley

Chant Down Babylon

Tuff Gong/Island Records

The more Bob Marley in the world the better. On this new tribute disc titled Chant Down Babylon, many of today’s top hip-hop artists like The Roots, Lost Boyz, Guru, and a few others do duets with the great Bob Marley. The background tracks are souped up with some bass and snare to help the rappers rap. This CD is a must for any Bob fan, just because it’s Bob. If you wondered what was up with the new Marley disc, now you know. So go buy it, mon.¿C.C.

 

Megadeth

Risk

Capitol Records

I lost track of Megadeth after their video, “Symphony Of Destruction,” stopped playing on MTV. I used to love that song. Then I saw Megadeth perform at Woodstock ’99. Oh shit, they killed everyone! All those shitbag Limp Bizkits and Korns couldn’t even step to Mustaine and the crew as they tore through the kick-ass song “Secret Place.” Well, they have a new CD called Risk and it’s an ass- kicker. Same heavy Megadeth with some added effects and some new bells and whistles. Go get a copy of Risk or else you may get your ass kicked by Dave.¿C.C.

Check out the full-length interview with Dave Mustaine on transworldsurf.com.

 

Red Giant

Ultra Magnetic Glowing Sound

MIA Records

Red Giant is spaced-out psychedelic stoner rock from Cleveland, Ohio, and let me tell you¿they’re rulers! Every song on this album is sweet as. If you’re a fan of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Blue Cheer, The Helios Creed, and other sludgey 70s bands, you’re sure to be super into this album. They’ve toured with Queens Of The Stone Age, Nebula, and Fu Manchu, so they have that definitive heavy fuzzrock sound I’ve grown fond of. Zone out and get this.¿A.S.

 

Mogwai

Come On Die Young

Matador/Chemikal Underground

Mogwai plays soft to loud indie rock like no other band. They truly create emotion in their songs. When you first play this Mogwai disc, play it loud¿there’s some serious power in this music. It’s hard to explain in words, so test out Mogwai yourself. You can find them in the indie section of your local record store. If you’re a cheap bastard who won’t buy the full-length, you can buy their new EP for only five bucks. It’ll break your heart when it’s over.¿C.C.

 

Screwball

Y2K The Album

Tommy Boy Records

This new release from New York’s Screwball is described as being survivalist hip-hop for the next 1,000. Poet, Solo, KL, and Hostyle are ghetto survivers on the rise in the East. Representing the Queensbridge housing projects, these guys are no doubt rugged and ready to do battle. They balance out the rhyme roster with Capone of Capone -N- Noreaga, Triple Seis from the Terror Squad, MC Shan, Rapper Noyd, Prodigy and Havoc from Mobb Deep, and the illustrious Biz Markee. Experience the true grit of NYC hip-hop and seek this out.¿A.S.

 

Slipknot

Slipknot

Roadrunner Records

When I first heard this band, I thought my stereo was turned up too loud. At the end of the second track, the singer told me to f¿k off. They sound like Napalm Death with a lttle bit of Korn in it. I think they’re mad at someone, everyone, or about the way their CD turned out. I don’t know, if you’re anywhere from fifteen to 32 years old, have lots of piercing and tattoos, you’ll probably want to buy this. People have been known to call Slipknot’s sound “ultra-violent” or sick. If you really want my opinion, I would suggest buying the CD. Add it to your collection, who cares? While you’re at it, buy the latest Limp Bizkit CD and smash it with a hammer. Thanks.¿Jim Nasium

 

Spontaneous

Spur Of The Moment Musik

Good Vibe Recordings

Who’s Spontaneous you ask? Well, he’s only one of the most innovative freestylers to come out of Los Angeles in a long time. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Spontaneous moved out west to hone his skills and his display his natural ryhme abilities. Spur Of The Moment Musik is his first solo joint and it’s boomin’. There’re some quality tracks on this release, especially the track “Reprezen’n” with guest-star rapper, Xzibit. Other guest artists include Bahamadia, Tash from Tha Alkaholics, DJ Revolution, and the legendary Kurtis Blow. This is refreshing underground hip-hop for the next century.¿A.S.

 

Tash

Rap Life

Loud Records

Hot damn! Tash has a solo joint out and it’s dope as hell. Tash (a.k.a. Catashtrophe) of Tha Alkaholics is comin’ up in a big way. He spits lyrics with such precision and finesse it’s hard to imagine why he hasn’t had a solo release until now. There’re only a few throw away tracks on Rap Life and the rest are good as gold. My personal favorite track is “Fallin’ On,” which you’ll find to be your favorite, too. Raekwon, Xzibit, Outkast, and fellow Alkaholics, E-Swift and J-Ro, dutifully round out the guest roster. This is some more real West Coast hip-hop for all your asses.¿A.S.

 

The Clash

From Here To Eternity-Live

Epic Records

From the “only punk band that matters” comes a killer seventeen-song compilation that documents one of the premier punk-rock bands of all time¿live. From the record label defying “Complete Control” to their radio-friendly hit “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” this CD captures the spirit and fury of the best band I’ve ever seen live. I had the pleasure of seeing The Clash on three seperate occasions during the era (’78¿’82) that this gem was recorded, and this disc definitely brought me back to those punk-rock/reggae days of yesteryear. It’s perfect for that pre-surf amp up. This is the real deal, a must buy!¿Steve Sherman eep, and the illustrious Biz Markee. Experience the true grit of NYC hip-hop and seek this out.¿A.S.

 

Slipknot

Slipknot

Roadrunner Records

When I first heard this band, I thought my stereo was turned up too loud. At the end of the second track, the singer told me to f¿k off. They sound like Napalm Death with a lttle bit of Korn in it. I think they’re mad at someone, everyone, or about the way their CD turned out. I don’t know, if you’re anywhere from fifteen to 32 years old, have lots of piercing and tattoos, you’ll probably want to buy this. People have been known to call Slipknot’s sound “ultra-violent” or sick. If you really want my opinion, I would suggest buying the CD. Add it to your collection, who cares? While you’re at it, buy the latest Limp Bizkit CD and smash it with a hammer. Thanks.¿Jim Nasium

 

Spontaneous

Spur Of The Moment Musik

Good Vibe Recordings

Who’s Spontaneous you ask? Well, he’s only one of the most innovative freestylers to come out of Los Angeles in a long time. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Spontaneous moved out west to hone his skills and his display his natural ryhme abilities. Spur Of The Moment Musik is his first solo joint and it’s boomin’. There’re some quality tracks on this release, especially the track “Reprezen’n” with guest-star rapper, Xzibit. Other guest artists include Bahamadia, Tash from Tha Alkaholics, DJ Revolution, and the legendary Kurtis Blow. This is refreshing underground hip-hop for the next century.¿A.S.

 

Tash

Rap Life

Loud Records

Hot damn! Tash has a solo joint out and it’s dope as hell. Tash (a.k.a. Catashtrophe) of Tha Alkaholics is comin’ up in a big way. He spits lyrics with such precision and finesse it’s hard to imagine why he hasn’t had a solo release until now. There’re only a few throw away tracks on Rap Life and the rest are good as gold. My personal favorite track is “Fallin’ On,” which you’ll find to be your favorite, too. Raekwon, Xzibit, Outkast, and fellow Alkaholics, E-Swift and J-Ro, dutifully round out the guest roster. This is some more real West Coast hip-hop for all your asses.¿A.S.

 

The Clash

From Here To Eternity-Live

Epic Records

From the “only punk band that matters” comes a killer seventeen-song compilation that documents one of the premier punk-rock bands of all time¿live. From the record label defying “Complete Control” to their radio-friendly hit “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” this CD captures the spirit and fury of the best band I’ve ever seen live. I had the pleasure of seeing The Clash on three seperate occasions during the era (’78¿’82) that this gem was recorded, and this disc definitely brought me back to those punk-rock/reggae days of yesteryear. It’s perfect for that pre-surf amp up. This is the real deal, a must buy!¿Steve Sherman