Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tat Money's First Broadcast

Man, this latest release from Dope Folks is sooo 90's. If you love that decade, this release will be unabashed porn for you. Rhymes packed with references and gags, unnatural B-Real-like voices (though thankfully less extreme), songs about hitting "skins," verses that start with lines like "one potato, two potato, duck duck goose," dark bass-heavy beats with dusty samples laid over them, and hooks made up of everyone in the crew saying the same phrases in pell-mell unison. At one point, they even do the "diggita, diggita" Das EFX thing. It's so on the nose, it almost feels like one of those contemporary releases, where some new guys are pretending to have recorded their record back in the 90s by throwing in every cliche in the book.

But no, this is the real thing. Ebony Broadcast System is an independent Philly group assembled by the great DJ Tat Money in 1992 when the Hilltop Hustlers and A New Beginning seemed to be reaching the ends of their terms. He put them out on his own label, 1/2 Fro Records, named after the hairstyle he was rocking at the time [check out the photos on my Kwamé page]. There were a couple of 12" singles, which you may remember from Tony D's not-quite legitimate Philly Throwback compilation, and a rare cassette-only full-length that never really made it out of PA.

And that's what Dope Folks has brought us. The album was called Broadcastin', and like they're doing with Musical Meltdown, DF are splitting the album up over two pieces of wax - one for each side of the tape. So Pt. 1 comes down to a six-track EP, but two songs are just skits long skits, and kind of annoying ones at that. I mean, it's still good that DF put them on here for completionists' sake; but I wouldn't have been too mad to see them left off either.

The MCs are alright - again, how much they appeal to you will depend on how enthusiastic you are about that 90s style - but the real star is Tat Money. His production is surprisingly top notch. He's created four top notch phat tracks that you don't have to be a devotee of the era to appreciate; just love hip-hop. And while the EP doesn't boil down to one big showcase of his championship turntable skills, he doesn't leave you hanging. His cuts here are also well integrated into his production; he's not just going nuts on a vocal sample that's then dropped on top of the beat. Everything he does is a part of the instrumental in a way that you're rewarded for paying attention.

So, this is shipping now at Dope Folks' usual (nice and affordable) pricing and limited to 300 copies; and again, this is Broadcastin's first time on wax. The sound quality is quite good. If this is from the tape, they did an excellent job on the remastering. I'm definitely feeling Tat Money's work on here, but there's a second record Dope Folks dropped concurrently with this one which I like even better - look for that post tomorrow.  XD

No comments:

Post a Comment