Sunday, August 28, 2005

Strictly Beats: Subterranean Instrumentals

The Ill Saint Presents

Rob Swift: "Rhythmic Wind"
Prince Paul: "One, Check, One"
Afrika Baby Bam: "NiteStalker"
from The Ill Saint Presents: Subterranean, Vol. 1, 1998

Been maaaad busy, as those readers who know me can well attest! Three truly underground hip-hop instrumentals from Wordsound Records' The Ill Saint Presents Subterranean Vol. 2. The most well-known releases from this label were the first edition of Prince Paul's classic Psychoanalysis, and MC Paul Barman's debut. Most other Wordsound records were less accessible, pushing the boundaries of hip-hop for better and for worse. Artists like Sensational (p.k.a. Torture from the Jungle Brothers' underappreciated J Beez With The Remedy) and Anti-Pop Consortium's M. Saayid found refuge in Wordsound's willingness to print up unorthodox hip-hop sounds that had zero potential for cross-over.

Rob Swift's "Rhythmic Wind" (insert gastrointestinal pun here) is a mellow, minimal instrumental designed for late nights in dark rooms. Prince Paul's "One, Check, One" is recognizable to those who picked up Paul's excellent Itstrumental, reappearing 8 years later as the basis for "It's a Stick Up." And lastly, Afrika Baby Bambaata contributes the upbeat "NiteStalker" that begs for some Mike G presence.

Special thanks goes out to Notes from a Different Kitchen, Vinyl Addicts, Pyramids to the Projects, Broken Language and The Broke BBoys for recommending Manifest Destiny to its readers.

Extrablogicular reading
Wordsound Store


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