Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DWG Massive

So, yesterday, I talked about the near historic bonus record that came only with a direct purchase of all three of DWG's latest records, released concurrently. So today it's time to talk about those three projects in their own right. They're thankfully available separately, too, so we cab pick and choose.  So let's see what's good.

Since I introduced the discussion off already with the one Jorun Bombay record, I guess I'll talk about the other Jorun Bombay record here: Remixes: Vol. 1.  Where Jorun dutifully applied himself to recreating the past as accurately as humanly possible, here he's gone back to classic hip-hop songs from the late 80s and early 90s, but allowed himself creative freedom. He's remixing eight of the greatest hip-hop hits, like "Ain't No Half Steppin'" and "The Symphony," but still in keeping with the production styles of their era.  In other words, his remix for "Mama Says Knock You Out" sounds like the kind of remix that would've been produced for it in 1990, not 2012. Some of the remixes give you practically entirely new instrumentals (though they'll still keep some elements, like the "Ain't No Half Steppin'" still retains the subtle "UFO" riffs in the background of this new groove), while others, like Run DMC's "Beats To the Rhyme," become a great excuse to just add to the fun and throw new scratches and sounds into the mix without taking so much away from the original. My favorite actually turned out to be his remake of The Beastie Boys' "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn," where he gives it a new, more traditionally hip-hop vibe, but still keeping it predominantly driven by grinding rock guitars. But different rock guitars, more mellow, grungy ones.  Really, it's fresh, and only 200 copies were made, so decide fast.

And speaking of remixes... You may remember their big TDS Mob release a couple years back. At that time, they also announced a remix competition, where producers could request the acapellas of any of the Mob's songs, either from their original singles or the unreleased tracks DWG was introducing to the world in 2010. The eight winners were chosen and given a pretty sweet vinyl release (limited to 300 copies), including a dope picture cover and press sheet with notes from each producer, giving details on how/why they did their mix.  It took ;em a long time to get this out, but in the end it was probably worth it, because it gave everyone the chance to twerk and rework their songs to fully professional-level mixes. This isn't a bunch of random myspace teens playing with Fruity Loops for the first time. You've got some pretty established artists contributing, including, yes, Jorun Bombay, and even a five piece band. My favorite is probably DJ Format's mix of "Bounce," which keeps all of the original elements, including "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" as the main thrust of the instrumental, but continually mixes in classic break after classic break into the track.  DJ Arok's "Dope For the Folks" is really hot, too; it wouldn't have sounded at all out of place on the original 12", while Will C's rocks and takes his song in entirely new directions.  People might write this EP off as a little vanity project, but they'll regret it years later when heads are asking, "that's a hot track, but wasn't there another version...?"

Finally, we have a more traditional style DWG release, in that it's a compilation of older, unreleased tracks by a single group. It's That Brown Underground EP (though with ten tracks, it's more like an LP) by Sputnik Brown, and it's kinda like their Damu or Cadence 7"s, in that they're relatively newer songs (the songs here were recorded between 2005 and 2011), that've gotten attention online as mp3s (and, in one case, a limited edition cassette), but never had a proper vinyl release until now. SB has a cool sound going, kind of an interesting blend between NY backpacker rap and a more soulful, almost Goodie Mob kinda vibe or something. Guests include Wyld Bunch and the magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff, who breathes fresh life into an earlier single of theirs.  This one's limited to 350 copies, 100 of which are pressed on appropriately brown vinyl, which you can see in my photo [above].

I'm not sure what's still available at this point. I'm pretty sure all three are still readily on hand as individual releases; but I don't know if it's still possible to get them as a set with the bonus record. DWG's already announced their next record, though (a 7" of DJ Format and The Good People), so they're clearly not gonna slow down and wait for anybody dragging their heels.

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