Saturday, April 9, 2011

Illegitimate Ultramagnetic

This is one of those songs you keep hoping will get pressed on vinyl, but it always gets neglected in favor of far less worthy material. Radio rips have been floating around for ages, and there's also a very rare acetate out there, but no legit release. At least there's this bootleg, though.

UltraMagnetic MCs' "Chilling w/ Chuck Chillout" is a one-sided, 10" single with a label designed styled after the original acetate. It's limited to 250 copies (mine's #58), though like I mentioned in my "Black History" review, I'm not sure how big a deal a numbered copy of a bootleg really is. ...I guess it still adds a little fun.

"Chilling" is a promo song recorded for Chuck Chillout's radio show on Kiss FM in the late 80's. It's not a short segment like a lot of them, though, but a full-length, properly produced song, with a hook, multiple verses, etc. The beat's pretty simple - killer drums and a "Watermelon Man" sample, with Keith and Ced killing it. It even ends with Chuck's signature, "this is Chuck Chillout, and I'm liiiiive."

The sound quality's alright. This was clearly ripped from the acetate, as the there are cracks and pops to be heard even on brand new, sealed copies of this 10". The sound breaks up a bit, like it was recorded with the levels too high, but I've never heard a version of this (old radio dubs or this acetate rip) that doesn't sound that way... so it's possible the original song was mastered that way, or the mics were cheap or something. Anyway, it just winds up adding to the old school, low-fi vibe, and I don't think the world is likely to discover a better sounding version. You can crank this loud and it'll sound good... just raw.

By the way, there's a song called "Chuck Chillout" on Ultra's New York What Is Funky album, their second of four Tuff City compilations, but this one here is a completely different song, and a much better one. "Chuck Chillout" sounds like Ultra's newer, weaker styles; but "Chilling w/ Chuck Chillout" is pure, vintage Ultra at their best.

It's overpriced for a boot (and not even a 12" one at that), but unless you've got a line on the OG acetate, what can ya do? Not have "Chilling w/ Chuck Chillout" in your crates? Yeah, right.

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