Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Cenobites' Final Unreleased Joints?

Remember when Godfather Don was swarming the limited marketed, with hot releases on One Leg Up, DWG and No Sleep? There was his solo stuff, and there was a sick Cenobites EP on OLU. We were loving it, but then the well seemed to run dry. A lot of heads assumed that we'd just thoroughly cleaned out his vaults; there just wasn't anymore. But us super(nerd)fans who followed all the mixtapes, radio recordings and Napster mp3s knew there were still a couple more Cenobites tracks left unheard.  What was the deal with them? Maybe the masters were lost, and those terrible sounding rips were the best we would ever get. But a brand new record from Chopped Herring called Pull the Trigger and Step disproves that notion - they've got "Kool Keith & Godfather Don's final, unreleased joints from the mid 90's Fondle 'Em Records sessions!"

And yes, songs we've known about and heard are finally presented on here. Even better, completely vintage but new to our ears songs have been found and presented here! The only strange thing is that they say "final, unreleased joints," but just like we knew and I wrote in 2008, we know there's still a couple more still unreleased. Maybe those masters really are lost? But, regardless, this is an awesome and welcome release, so let's dig in and break it down track by track:

1. Cold Peein On Em (Remix) - Yeah! "Cold Peein On Em" is the song I've probably seen requested online the most that never turned up. And here it is, sounding great. But... it's a remix? So, there's one still unreleased track right there - where's the original mix? I mean, actually this version sounds like the one that people have heard. It's got the same killer horn sample on the hook, same lyrics, same funky track. I guess we've never heard the original version? So, that's good because that means people are getting the version they want here, and we've never heard it in full quality on vinyl before.

2. Hot Crib Promo Pt 2 w/ Cage - "Pt 1" was on the Demented Thoughts EP, and like that one, this is another radio freestyle that was previously featured on Cage's self-released For Your Box tape and CD. This its debut on vinyl, though, and it sounds notably better here. I guess they got a better source from Don, so I'm happy to have it here.

3. Pull the Trigger and Step - Whoa! What is this? I've never heard of this one! Like I said, this EP introduces us to new unheard material, and this is one of the best Cenobites tracks across all their records! No wonder why CH made it the title track.

4. Lazy Woman - Finally. This is a dope little song about the perils of attaching yourself to someone who'll just use you for your money that's been floating around for years and years. Now we're finally getting it on vinyl in high quality.

5. Break Em Down - This is another we've been waiting for. This is a really funky track from Don, and Keith comes kinda smooth on this one, though with his trademark craziness, too, of course: "I get a piece of your neck just like a haircut. Deep in that booty, I'm rubbin' alcohol. Okay. MCs wanna play play, soundin' like they're gay gay, I tap 'em all on their shoulder and say yo, hey hey. No snappin' necks. Piss and shit on the floor. Yo, give me your address, I'm comin' over... right now."

6. Your Time Is Now - This one's been floating around as a Kool Keith demo entitled "Suckas Be Gone," because Don doesn't rap on here. But he made the track and it sounds very much in keeping with the other Cenobites tracks here, which is a compliment 'cause the Cenobites sound is great.

And by the way, unlike the Demented Thoughts EP, this EP heavily features Keith. This isn't another one that's practically a Don solo EP with a token appearance by Keith. Both of them are on almost every track.

So what's still MIA? Maybe not a ton (that we know of), but there's some stuff for sure. Well, again, that mysterious O.G. version of "Cold Peein On Em" of course. There's one called "You Lose," which is more just an interlude than a full song, but it's got an original instrumental and all... it's not a skit. And most importantly of all is "We Can Do This," a wild posse cut with Ultramagnetic's TR Love and Mike L from some of Don's early 90s records. I love the flute sample on that one, combined with the frenetic beat. Plus, there's the extended version of "MCs Out To Murder the World" (which is double the length of the original) and "Stretch and Bob Buggin Out" freestyle joint that One Leg Up only put out as mp3s on ITunes. I think there's just enough for a solid Volume 2 here, that would be worth the purchase. So hopefully that word "final" isn't too etched in stone.

But again, let's focus on what we have got. I'm impressed with the sound quality here. There's always been a low-fi feel to The Cenobites' recordings, but it's nice and crisp, even if it doesn't have the lush sound of a glossy U2 album recorded in a billion dollar studio. It's certainly a huge upgrade from the old cassette dubs I've had all these years, or what's still kicking around Youtube. As you can see, it comes in a sticker cover. And Chopped Herring have bumped up their limited run a little bit, pressing 400 copies of this: 75 on clear (clear), black & green mixed colored vinyl, 75 on white(white), green and blue mixed colored vinyl, and the remaining 250 on your standard black. It's a great day for fans.

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