Review: Way back in 1998 when Massive Attack's career-defining "Mezzanine" was first released, legendary dub technician Mad Professor cooked up some radical reworking. They now get their first official release alongside dubs of two tracks that never actually made it onto the album - Metal Banshee: a dub version of "Superpredators" which was a cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Metal Postcard", and "Wire", which was actually recorded for the film "Welcome to Sarajevo". Wild effects, plenty of knob twiddling and oodles of reverb define this freaky late night collection and mark another essential release in the catalogue of the already legendary Mad Professor.
3rd Acts: ? Vs Scratch 2...Electric Boogaloo (0:53)
You Got Me (feat Erykah Badu) (4:20)
Don't See Us (4:36)
The Return To Innocence Lost (5:29)
Act Fore The End? (4:53)
Table Of Contents (part 3 - bonus track) (3:19)
What You Want (bonus track) (4:11)
Quicksand Millennium (bonus track) (4:09)
We Got You (feat Jaguar - bonus track) (1:13)
You Got Me (Drum & Bass mix - bonus track) (4:59)
You Got Me (Me Tienes remix - bonus track) (4:26)
Act Too (The Love Of My Life) (remix - bonus track) (3:29)
Y'all Know Who (bonus track) (4:04)
The Lesson (part III - bonus track) (4:53)
New Years At Jay Dee's (bonus track) (2:49)
Review: In our eyes, Questlove is one of the best drummers of the modern era. His playing skills have held down killer grooves by everyone from D'Angelo to Jill Scott, Erykah Badu to Soulquarians. His own Grammy Award winning band The Roots brought thrilling musicianship and live instrumentation to the hip hop game and are widely regarded as one of the best live acts in the genre. Their fourth album, Things Fall Apart, was their real breakthrough and is now presented here, remastered, with bonus tracks, rare photos, essays from Black Thought and Questlove and liner notes from Questlove. Essential.
Review: Originally issued back in 1998, Mezzanine remains the most commercially successful album released by Bristol troupe Massive Attack, thanks in no small part to the Liz Fraser-featuring "Teardrop". This third album signalled a change in sonic direction that played more explicitly on the darkness and tension that was always an undercurrent of their much loved debut Blue Lines and successor Protection. After numerous bootlegs over the years, Virgin have done the right thing and presented this official reissue of Mezzanine to appease fans of Massive Attack and it's clear the LP has lost none of it's bewitching power. The Quincy Jones and Isaac Hayes sampling "Exhange" and "Exchange" remain a delight in particular.
Review: Root Down is an experimental album from 1994 when The Beastie Boys locked themselves in a rehearsal space and went to town on studio experimentation and live jamming. It came between "Paul's Boutique" and "Check Your Head" and resulted in two previously unreleased versions of the title track and snippets of music recorded while on tour in Europe. There is the typical Beastie Boys mix of floor rocking riffs but with funky new flows stitched in and thus charts the period in which the band went from their post punk guitar roots to a more new-groove driven sound.
Review: Although the titular track might have been somewhat spoiled by a certain TV advert, the rest of Gregory Isaacs' most well known album still stands up. Lazy reggae rhythms are permeated by sparkly synth work from Wally Badarou, which at the time was a brave and progressive move away from traditional reggae and toward the ensuing sound of dancehall. Isaac's own buttery, laid back musings are front and centre, crystal clear and delicate throughout, always complimented by dainty piano chords that sink you deep into a dreamworld. The production throughout is first class, too, making this a true classic.
What's Going On (original mono single version) (3:57)
God Is Love (original mono single version) (2:48)
What's Going On (feat BJ The Chicago Kid) (5:03)
What's Going On (Coffeehouse Mix) (3:59)
Review: One of the most important and influential records in both Marvin and Motown's history, "What's Going On" celebrates 45 years with a revisit that includes some of the oldest mono versions of "What's Going On" and "God Is Love" and brand new twists including a superbly mixed posthumous duet with BJ The Chicago Kid which truly feels like they're in the same room together and an Elevado-mixed acoustic Coffeehouse mix where Marvin's vocals and sentiments are given even more muscle due to their forefront position.
Review: Cruising the slipstream of Black Messiah, D'Angelo's debut album gets a timely reissue 20 years after its release. The neo-soul foundations dig deep with every nuance and subtlety D'Angelo has become known for; the Gaye-level harmonies of "Crusin'", the jazz meanders of "Sh*t Damn Motherf*ker" and the unstoppably sexual drive of "Lady"... If this isn't in your collection already, now is most definitely the time.