Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grand Invincible Sessions On Cassingle?

Okay, I know cassettes are coming back in to vogue as collectors' items. And for an old school guy with a huge cassette collection (and players to play 'em) amassed over a lifetime of youth spent in the 80s and 90s, that's pretty sweet. So we've had brand new cassette releases by everybody from Ghostface Killah to MF Doom to Omniscence. But has anybody in this modern era released a classic cassingle, in the cardboard slip sleeve style before? If it's not a first, it's certainly the first I've copped, and damn if there isn't an extra kick of nostalgia in sliding a brand new cassette out of its tight cardboard wrap. It's like I've just walked out of Record Town, amped about a rare, underground find they only had one copy of.

But a novel release isn't worth the crazy materials it's composed of if the music it holds doesn't move ya. Fortunately, in this case we've got two def cuts from the Grand Invincible sessions. According to the back cover, these tracks (which, to be clear, have never been released to the public before now) were recorded in 2011, though this blog by producer/DJ Eons suggests their roots reach back even further.

"Go Fast Boats" has Luke Sick spitting hard over a booming, "Broken Language"-like bassline. just slightly smoothed out by some extra instrumentation (is that a harp in there?) and a guest verse by Brandon B from Arizona's Supermarket (of Dump Koch fame). The only issue is that it's hard to get a handle on the song, lyrically. Did Luke just say, "the new fanny pack is the Blue Tooth?" What does that even mean? And Brandon B is taking random pop culture shots: "shit ain't funny; you're played out like Paula Poundstone." I don't know. Luke's flow sounds great over the track, though; so it's real dope as long as you don't pay real close attention and ask too many questions.

The B-side totally eclipses it anyway. The production's even better, with a funky, orchestral sample (more harp?) and a super funky "lyrics get dropped like napalm" vocal sample for a hook. Brandon B is credited on this song, too; but this time he's just doing supporting back-up vocals - lyrically, Luke is flying solo, and comes off tighter than on "Boats." It's really one of those rare songs where as soon as it's over you'll want to rewind it back and hear it again, repeatedly.

Like most proper cassingles back in the day, this features both songs on the A-side, and the two instrumentals on the flip. The cassette itself is made out of a cool, scrap metal gray plastic. A little labeling might've been cool, but as I said before, it does come in a cool, double-sided cassingle sleeve. And MegaKut is selling these for only $8, including shipping, so there's really nothing to complain about - that's about what you would've paid for a cassette single back in the 90s, and you'd've been hard pressed to find a release as cool as this.

MK says these are limited to a ridiculously tiny amount of 25 copies, but I suspect that's how many they have to allotted to sell online, not how many were actually made, because most of these are being handed out at Luke's shows. But still, that means if you're a Grand Invincible fan and don't live out in Cali, you'd better jump on this fast, unless you look forward to be coaxing this off some local fan on EBay. And if I can ever bring myself to stop rewinding and replaying it, it'll make me smile again just to stick it in my cassingle box right between Grand Daddy IU's "Don't Stress Me" and Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio's "Mr. Big Stuff."  8)

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