Posts Tagged "Wugazi"

09.02.2011

Slow Like That

Well, it’s the Friday of Labor Day Long Weekend, aka summer’s official death rattle, and I would rather be A. asleep, B. smoking marijuana, C. half-napping, half-stoned on the couch, sometimes dozing off, sometimes thinking about how cool it would be if I had Wolverine’s healing factor, D. all of the above, instead of sitting here writing a music review 80% of you probably won’t care about. Nevertheless, I’ve been listening to the following two albums so compulsively for the past couple weeks it would be truly negligent not to say anything.

Ever since I let Wugazi’s 13 Chambers into my life, I have not known peace. The album mashes up Wu-Tang classics with Fugazi instrumentals and it has invaded my mind most completely. This is one of those projects that was either going to end in disaster or reveal some kind of visionary, calculated genius, and fortunately for us, the latter won out. I share it with you now, not simply because it is good, but because these are some of the most infectious remixes I’ve ever heard. So infectious that not only can I not stop listening to the album, but I also feel compelled to spread the contagion far and wide. Watch out Matt Damon, if Gwyneth Paltrow gets a hold of this, homegirl’s going to be catching seizures all over the mo’fuckin’ house.

wugazi 13chambers cover Slow Like That

Picking a single track to post was no small task. It felt like having to choose between Doritos and Cheetos, as if only one classic, fake-cheese-dust-covered snack would be allowed to continue to exist in this world… the future of the world’s munchable consumption hanging in your hands. No one should have to make such a choice. I’m quite serious when I say that every one of these 13 tracks is expertly crafted, the mixes elevating the source material — the Wu-Tang Clan’s aggressive, uncompromising vocals and Fugazi’s raw, unrelenting riffs don’t work together merely on a hooky level like, say, mashing up Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” with… well… pretty much anything. Rather, the samples inform and compliment each other perfectly, coalescing like individual Voltron robots, seemingly designed to one day unite and create something terrifying and awesome.

Wugazi - Ghetto Afterthought

The best part? The whole album’s available for free right here. Do not sleep on this. Pretty much no need to listen to anything ever again… except for this next album of course…

ghostfunk cover Slow Like That

Since we’re on the topic of Wu-Tang mashup albums, I would be remiss if I failed to include Max Tannone’s innovative Ghostfunk, which pairs my favorite Clansman, Ghostface Killa, with African funk, soul and some psychedelic rock. It’s not nearly as hardcore as Wugazi for fairly obvious reasons, but it might be a good aural cleanser to put on afterward, if you’re still salivating for some of Starky Love’s unmistakable rhymes.

ghostface killah Slow Like That

Max Tannone is the guy behind the relatively seminal Jaydiohead, along with the fantastic Mos Dub. While Ghostfunk is likely his most experimental project to date, it works surprisingly well and definitely sounds fresh, thanks to his considerable skill when it comes to combing for obscure samples and bastardizing classic songs.

Ghostfunk - The Same Girl

Tonally, it’s incredibly different than anything on Wugazi, and really, most original Ghostface tracks I can think of, despite his reliance on R&B influences post Wu-Tang. Indeed, Ghostfunk takes Ghostface’s usual soulful production to an entirely new level. Considering the dichotomy between the laid back, funky grooves and Ghost’s typically raspy, demanding delivery, it’s impressive how the final product does not find its individual samples at odds at all. Instead, the building blocks here work together to form something natural and remarkably chill. Most of all, it sounds like something new, and in today’s music industry, particularly mainstream hip-hop, that’s a rare artifact to be prized.

Another must-have for any fan of Wu-Tang or progressive mashups in general, and maestro Max Tannone makes it easy for you by offering it for free. Now what are you waiting for? Load up that fucking iWhatever and enjoy your last true summer weekend with some of the best music I’ve listened to this season.