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Archive for the ‘Alchemist’ Category

Three-Six Mafia & Juvenile "That’ll Work" (Produced by Alchemist)

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A-Team horns blast through the beginning of this beat and you’re like “Just another Alchemist almost-banger on some blissed-out blaxploitation shit…”, only it’s not because it’s taken over by sparks of something less analog: the theme from Halloween sent through Terry Riley synths (or the Phantom of the Opera drunk on Vault energy soda), pieces of Percolator drums, digital fuzz clipping in and out, and a chunk of very rigid and unfunky flickering back and forth bass. Where did this come from? This isn’t totally from left-field or anything but it’s pretty nuts.

Alchemist’s always had this kind of shit in him, but he’s never gone this far in sort of kind of rejecting his “style”, even if the rejection lasts only until Prodigy needs some more middling soul-bangers–although “Death Wish” on Jada’s album was on some other shit too.

“That’ll Work” though is cool because it’s made-up of the same elements that’ll be on the next Dilated Peoples album just stretched-out or chopped-up to a very different end. There’s a funk bassline, it’s just been destroyed and reorganized to stutter and flip-out instead of glide along…there’s patches of some ethereal probably-from-an-Italian-movie-OST vocals, just it comes in for like a quarter of a second–in only one of the speakers–and then trips out of the way. Even the sexy moans and hook might have their origins on one of those “Porno Sounds” break records.

Alchemist’s beat sounds like an attempt to match the menace and energy of Southern rap using the New York rap tools to do so. Or flashback to a time when style and sub-sub regional genres didn’t have to be protective and properly defined and wrapped up inside themselves and this could just be an early 90s Memphis or Bronx record.

Rapping-wise too, Three-Six and Juvenile are slightly out of their comfort zone, but out of it enough to where they’re challenged and interesting shit happens, not so far out that they’re no longer doing them. Juvie especially…maybe it’s that ficky-ficky quarter of a bassline that’s like a Dilla/Busta joint but it’s got that same kind of weird feel, but it’s Juvenile and Alchemist which makes a lot less sense.

Written by Brandon

April 30th, 2009 at 7:02 am

Metal Lungies: Alchemist Beat Drop

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“The weird loops of nostalgia and reverse nostalgia coursing through Alchemist’s “The Man/The Icon” beat are nearly too much to parse out. Let’s start with Alc taking “Lucky Me” — a piece of near disco from Philly soul legends The Stylistics — and chopping it back into the warm R&B they were doing five years earlier. Those disco party strings become warm Thom Bell orchestration, near Santa Esmeralda horns revert back to the gloriously maudlin sound we associate with The Stylistics; it’s all tight and immediate instead of loose and bell-bottom ready…”

Written by Brandon

October 27th, 2008 at 4:46 pm