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by Peter Agoston
1 January, 2002@12:00 am
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To my knowledge DJ Murge is a producer from Victoria Island in British Columbia, right outside of Vancouver. This is his production compilation set atop a backdrop of some artists you know (especially if you follow the affiliated Battle Axe movements) and some that may not (if outside of the greater BC area you dwell). So all in all you hear the Battle Axe Warriors and some special guests do their respected things over a new field of music. The Murge sound basks in a West Coast throw-back, basslines and synth gallore, ample mood music that plays its best notes as the ‘up coast’ sun sets across the horizon.

The Living Legends show forth on 5 of the 18, Battle Axe roster-staples Moka Only, Mr. Brady, LMNO, Buc Fifty, Abstract Rude and Son Doobie all find respected songs, alongside B.C. fav’s the City Planners (Jeff Spec + Ishkan) with random shots from Hobo Junction, Atmosphere and the ever-underexposed Kirby Dominant for good measure. Selection is plentiful to align to a listener’s tastes, but the undeniable jams shouldn’t really go unacknowledged. ASOP bursts-out proper like, energized (proving Murge’s more assertive productions his more memorable) on “Intelligent”. He hones in on a wilder persona and succeeds somewhat gracefully, tapping into a similar explosive nature are the now executive Swollen Members on “Chewing Concrete”, with a nod to their own album opener “Killing Spree”, these should be 12″s. Son Doobie (of Funkdoobiest of course) also works the preparatory angle well (his new album should be interesting) juicing his presence to the utmost on “Shake ‘Em Down”.

But the banger-type creations don’t play the majority of this full length as Murge tends to delve deeper into drowning melodica throughout. LMNO’s “Up & Up” proves the most powerful atop reversed horns and buzzing vibes, as a well placed album closer. Similar tools are utilized for songs with the Mystik Journeymen, Slug, and Ab Rude yet find their grasp loosening on the listener after some time. Only to be picked up by the lesser exposed names a la Jeff Spec on “Got The Get”, solid anthem music and Kirby Dominant on the uplifting, club-ready “What You Got” (you might wonder whose bumping that N.E.R.D. album a bit much from the hook though). The meandering Hobo Junction joint “Meeting Victoria” gets a thumbs up as well, just for being different.

Being different. At times this compilation reaches these peaks of difference while in others caught on a fray of overdrawn intros and abused high hats, but all in all, aside from the particulars this is a solid showing, a good introduction to this producer and an overall fun album to listen to.

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