4 August, 2010@11:50 pm
Instrumental albums are a mixed bag. Sometimes you find a producer slapping ten leftover beats on a CD-R and then turning it into the label to spruce up with artwork for mass consumption. Other times you get a fully realized magnum opus that forever changes the way we look at hip-hop production. El-P’s latest (which we will refer to herein simply as MegaMixx3), doesn’t fall in either category, but is more of an amalgamation of the two.
Mixed all the way through, we get to hear the work of one producer evolve, breakdown, and transform over the course of an hour, as El collects unreleased beats and stuff commissioned for remixes, sewing it all together into one long cohesive piece of music. It opens with easily it’s strongest track, “Whores: The Movie”, a blisteringly abrasive beat that shows how El’s production has progressed once again since his last LP. This leads directly into “Meanstreak (In 3 Parts)”, which is a vocal free version of Rakka’s recent track of the same name. This time it evolves into an otherworldly mesh of “More Bounce To The Ounce” and LL’s “Going Back To Cali” – but the way El has flipped it, you’d never know it.
In true El fashion, he’s got some heavy beats here that evoke emotion, like “Time Won’t Tell” and “He Hit Her So She Left”, songs so beautifully realized in instrumental fashion that they don’t need lyrical explanations. Stuff like this, along with “Contagious Snippet”, with Wilder Zoby, suggest El has a strong future ahead of him scoring movies, like he did with Bomb The System. If Christopher Nolan ever makes a post-apocalyptic b-boy sci-fi flick, El’s got the job.
There are a few older bits sprinkled in here, such as bare bones versions of “How To Serve Man” and his Kidz In The Hall remix of “Drivin’ Down The Block”, put in just the right places to keep things interesting. While previous versions of the series have had an almost throw-it-all-in-the-blender approach, Megamixx3 is the first of the set to really try to sound like an album, and it succeeds in doing so. Consider this a warning for the impending doom sure to be found on El’s next vocal LP.
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