Wednesday, May 25, 2011

D-Stroy and Tony Touch Killer '94 Demo

I have to admit, I had no idea that, before The Arsonists, D-Stroy was down with DJ Tony Touch. But this brand new release from Chopped Herring Records proves not only that it happened (in fact, D-Stroy is possibly the first MC to appear on a Tony Touch mixtape), but that they were a killer combo. This is a 6-song EP release of a previously unreleased demo tracks by D-Stroy and Tony Touch. It's limited to 275 copies, and the first 75 copies are pressed on a cool, chrome colored vinyl[pictured]. Plus it has a wickedly awesome sticker cover.

When I first put this on the tables, I thought, wow, he sounds totally different than he did even on the first Arsonists record, but then I realized the first MC to rap on this is the EP's sole guest, Ching Rock. As soon as we get to verse 2, we hear D's unique, scratchy voice. And the production is perfect. Jazzy but simple, broken down, raw, plenty of scratches. Everything you'd hope for from an indie '94 12".

Sometimes his voice and lyrics do sound a little less refined than the Arsonists... when he says stuff like, "you'll get 'knocked the fuck' out like in Friday" in "I Ain't Real," he does sound a little weaker... this isn't a case of his-demos-are-better-than-anything-he-did-once-he-got-known. He became a better MC over the next few years later, but thanks to the production by Tony and the rawer sound of the recordings, these tracks rank right alongside some of the strongest Arsonists records. If you're a fan of "Sessions" - and what serious hip-hop head isn't? - then you'll be more than happy hearing this EP. My expectations were not only met but exceeded.

So, actually, five of the songs here comprise their original demo... most have never been heard, though there is an original version of "Vitamin D," which D-Stroy released as the B-side to his second single on Matador in 2001. That version was dope, too; but the original is definitely better. It's kinda like "Sessions," in the way that it's driven by a catchy bassline over cracking drums, and it has a great, dusty horn sample, too. The Matador version is a lot busier, but I don't think that works in its favor.

Another song, "Make Noise," is specifically credited as being the "Demo Tape Mix," but as far as I know, there's never been another version of this song released. I know he's had a couple mix-CDs out... Cataclysm, and just recently More Than Beats and Rhymes. But there's no such song on either of those, so I don't know. Anybody heard of a D-Stroy/Arsonists track called "Make Noise" before?

Anyway, then, the final sixth song is a Bonus Track, recorded in 1995. Tony Touch worked on this one, too - it's a song titled, "Palante Siempre Palante" recorded for a documentary of the same name about the New York division of The Young Lords (a Chicago gang that developed into a political activist movement). It does sound a little more professional and polished than the rest of the songs on this EP, and it's not quite as good as the rest (not because it's more polished - they just both happen to be true of this song), but it's still pretty dope, and it's cool to finally have a proper release of this song as well.

So, if you're still saddened about The Arsonists breaking up, and you still can't look at the Date of Birth album without getting frustrated... well, this EP doesn't feature the full crew, but it's honestly just as good as anything that does.


  1. WOW! I've been looking for that Palampre joint since 94! Please tell me where I can cop this, or hear that track again? It's been haunting me since the day I heard it on Stretch & Bob..

    HUGE props for finding this.

  2. You can order it from here: =)

  3. hurry up Tek, this release is a must and you shouldn't miss out ... some copies should be left broh

    direct link with buy now button ...

    nice review Werner! really a dope EP and glad we got a chrome copy of this

    mmmaaaddd propz