Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finsta Bundy's Unreleased LP EP

Midsummer, I blogged about how Finsta had not only reissued his rare, debut single, but he'd also included an unreleased track from that same period as a bonus track. That was pretty awesome, but it still left his vaults with some gems left to be excavated. Thankfully, Chopped Herring - the label that blew my mind with their Phase N Rhythm 12" released at the same time - has taken care of that.

Tracks we knew existed, because they'd been released in part on Finsta's Neva Say Never mixtape from the 90's are here, along with tracks we'd never even heard of before.  Now, these are Finsta Bundy tracks, meaning they were recorded after that first 12" (1996-1999) and Finsta'd hooked up with his partner, so these are all two MC songs, just like their most enduring classics. Most of these tracks were meant to part of a full-length Finsta Bundy album that, sadly, never happened - hence the title, The Unreleased Album EP.

So, if you remember Neva Say Never, you'll recognize "Who Wanna Rock" and "Love and Hate;" and it's great to finally have these bangers, complete and unblended (into other songs) on vinyl. But whether you've heard these songs or not, the pattern is consistent, gritty, minimalistic soul sampled tracks produced by exactly who you'd expect: Rich Blak, Baby Paul, Mr. Walt and Finsta himself, plus a track each by lesser known producers Chocolate Ty and Fatal Son, whose work blends in seamlessly. If they're not just as good as The Beatminerz' crew stuff, they at least come close.

I have to say, though, there were no real head popping surprises - the best songs I found were the ones I went in already being familiar with. The other tracks are still quality Finsta Bundy material, with both of them coming consistently nice on the mic at all times; but you can see why these weren't chosen as singles like the songs we've all come to know. It's probably also no coincidence that these are the more modern songs ('98-'99, as opposed to '96-'97). No doubt Finsta fans will be quite pleased with this EP (and, come on, who isn't a Finsta fan?), but don't expect Greatest Hits material.

Sound quality-wise, it's terrific.  Six of the songs come from their original D&D Studio masters and sound perfect.  The other two (marked as such on the label) are old 4-track mixes, so they do sound a bit rougher and more "tapey," but that's how they were originally recorded. ...It's just an unfortunate coincidence that those two 4-Track Mixes happen to be "Who Wanna Rock" and "Love Or Hate." But, still, it's the best they're ever going to sound.

Just like it's sister release, this one comes in a smart sticker cover and limited to 350 copies. 200 on black, 75 on clear (clear) wax and 75 red. Chopped Herring is doing amazing things these days, and I'm constantly at the edge of my seat for what they're going to release next.

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