Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Ill Clinton “Renaissance Sound / The Prophecy” (Us Natives)

                This is basically a split cassette, only it is a split within Ill Clinton, as one piece takes each side and, you know, the way that cassettes are why not do an EP on each side if you can’t otherwise justify putting out a cassette full of what you feel is too short of a time (Though I have cassettes that are less than ten minutes in total, so there you go)

                “Renaissance Sound”, or Side A, begins with a saxophone and then obviously beats, which reminds me of something between Digital Planets and Black Sheep (Yes, the hip hop group Black Sheep of which I have cassettes from my youth, not the Chris Farley/David Spade movie that resembled “Tommy Boy” a little too closely for me)  This sound also tends to lean toward the improv jazz side of things, and I’m really digging that as well, though not so much that I will grow a soul patch and buy a beret. 

                There is an audio clip about it being October again, which can only lead my mind to Mr. October, baseball, the World Series, etc. and that’s down a path that I probably wasn’t meant to go down there, but hey, what can I say, it is baseball season right now after all.  Boom-boom beats come out in the third track, which leads me to think of the Tell-Tale Heart and that might actually be a little bit closer to what this cassette is all about.

                Guitar notes stuck in a loop and electro explosions make way for the end of the “Renaissance Sound” portion of this release and as it so happens the last song does seem to have some underlying country tones for me, though there are also minimal lasers, so I can’t quite explain it but am only drawn to a scene in Futurama where they look like cowboys and ride giant bugs.

                “The Prophecy” as per the Bandcamp description is a tribute to the most excellent movie “The Dark Crystal”.   Anyone who is around my age will remember this movie from their youth if they were a nerd back then and obviously much cooler now.   I always just remember Jim Henson being associated with The Muppets and Kermit the Frog, and I thought that was neat (and still do), but then I saw this movie and was like, “Wow, this guy is really letting his dark side out”.

                Side B opens with some deep ohms and ahhs before the beat drops.  A lot of this is what you might expect, as it is beats mixed with audio clips from the movie itself, but there is one part I cannot quite place.   This sound comes on during the fourth track, and I’m not sure what instrument it is exactly.  I’ve got it pegged somewhere between jazz flute and fiddle, though odds are that I am way off.   Regardless, it is a bit funky and it also reminds me of a fun gypsy dance party, so there is also that.

                Overall, this is a great cassette, though currently sold out so you’ll have to look for it second hand, and even though it went for something like ten bucks originally (you can expect to pay more if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a copy now) it is well worth any asking price really because you’re getting two albums and they are both just that damn good. 

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