Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another Double Dose of Emskee

Diggers With Gratitude is back and clearly reaping the benefits of a good, developed relationship with Emskee.  If you don't remember, Emskee is the hardcore NJ MC from the 90's who most of us first discovered on Nick Wiz's Cellar Sounds compilations on No Sleep. DWG wound up releasing two EPs worth of unreleased material by Emskee, and later put out a 7" with Emskee's new group, the Good People (which is him and Saint).

So, following The Complex Engineer EP, with have The Complex Extras. That title seems a bit dismissive, though... like these tracks might be just half as good, and only worth the time of a die-hard fan who has to have everything. But that's not the case at all. In fact, I wanted to say that Emskee comes even harder on this latest EP release, but then I went back to Engineer and I guess it's about the same - certainly every bit as good as the previous material you've heard and in the same vein. Again, these are all early 90's tracks ('92-'94), produced by Nick Wiz and featuring DJ Slyce on the tables.

And like the previous set of Emskee EPs, this has been released with a partner, too. This time it's brand new, 2012 material, though, by The Good People. It's called the Gone for Good Album Sampler, because this is being released in conjunction with a full-length album called Gone for Good which they're putting out themselves. On CD/ mp3 only. So, this is the vinyl release of the album's highlights... you know, like Fat Beats did it with artists like Roc Marciano and Eternia, or even how No Sleep did it with Nick Wiz's Cellar Selections. Wax heads will be happy to learn they've been rewarded with a vinyl-exclusive track, though (it won't be on the Gone for Good full-length) called "Very M.A.D."

One track that ought to sound awfully familiar is "I Get Down (Like This)." That's because it's just a slightly different mix of "How I Get Down" from Nick Wiz's second volume of Cellar Sounds. That's a very welcome inclusion, because not only is it a new (new to us, that is) version, but the one on Cellar Sounds was CD-only, so we're finally getting this track on vinyl. If any more Emskee vault raiding is scheduled for the future, I'd remind the guys that "My Skills" from Cellar Sounds. vol. 1 still remains CD-only at this point, too. ;)

I was pleasantly surprised with the Good People EP. Not that I was expecting wackness, but I did expect that, for me, it would just be an after thought paired with the collection of Emskee's 90's stuff.  The production's fuller... Granted, it's less hardcore and more upbeat, which may or may not be your preference, but everything just feels more substantive. There are also a sizable amount of guests on hand here, considering this is just an EP, including J. Sands, Spectac, D-Slim (of the Sputnik Brown crew, which recently had an EP put out by DWG themselves), who actually appears on three different songs, and some guy named Brick Casey.

The Good People EP, which seems to have beaten the LP version to the open market, is limited to 350 copies... 150 of which are pressed on yellow (yellow) wax (the rest on your standard black), and the first 75 of those have been signed by Emskee and Saint. The Emskee EP is even more limited, to 175 copies only. Both come in sticker covers and come with colored press sheets - in other words, exactly the (high) standards we've come to expect from DWG.

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