Well…. Here it is! A brand new edition of The Mix! Cut, slurred, chirped, juggled, transformed and even crabbed especially for you and the launch of Crossfire’s’ spruced up website.
As this is my first article I believe that I should introduce myself to the devoted readers of Crossfire reviews. My name is Kris Drew and it looks like I will be your Hip Hop guide from now on. Now, I may be new to Crossfire but I’m definitely not new to the hip hop game. I’ve been listening to this amazing stuff since the age of five. Not that I knew what anyone was talking about at that age, I just liked the vibe. I have moved myself on from the likes of Ice-T, King T and the Sugar Hill Gang, to artists a little closer to home such as: Roots Manuva, Foreign Beggars and Genesis Elijah. What? You haven’t heard of him yet!! You soon will. This, in fact, brings me on to my first album review…..
Warning – Crossfire’s Most Wanted!
Genesis Elijah’s – Deh Pon Road
This is not actually an album, it is a great new (well not so new now ) compilation from a great team named Broken Souls Productions. This is an albums’ worth of tunes created between 2001 and when it was released in July 2005. With major promotions from www.brave-music.com and collaborations from Klashnekoff, Skinnyman, Wordsmith, Skriblah and Kyza. Deh Pon Road had a great head start before it was even released. With each track as raw and in-depth as the next, this compilation is bound to blow your back doors off their hinges! Track 2 is the only track not to completely impress, but that’s me being choosy. Skip that one and you’re off. The best tunes to look out for are: “Jah Bless” (this has already been released on 12″ featuring Klashnekoff), “Road Rage” featuring Ahmos and “Gun Talk” featuring Wordsmith, Skriblah, Kyza & Klashnekoff. This album has been out a while now but I don’t think enough people own it. I’ve been asking around and people know of a few tracks but don’t actually have a copy. Deh Pon Road is definitely Kris Drew’s album of the fortnight. Make sure you go out and buy it and add a top class CD to your collection. “So hip hop” is the new single off Deh Pon Road, the video is doing its rounds at the moment. Check their website out to watch it.
Keeping that in mind, I suppose it’s time to take a look at a newly released 12″ single….
Wordsmith’s – The Analyst
From the fine tradition of a raw story teller comes a new blud, although you can tell he’s not new to the art. This is a great new up-beat track from Wordsmith’s new album – “The Roadman Showcase”. The eerie sound of violins sets the mood for the track with Wordsmith’s low tone spittin’ some dope rhymes over the top. The A-side has pretty heavy jazz beats that fit nicely with the darkened vibes. This is a fast one DJ’s! So get out your fast tracks for any decent mixes in and out of it. Tom Caruana produced all tracks on the album this 7″ is taken from. He is, as ever, impressive and creative on every track. I’m hearing about this geeza more & more as the days go on. Top beats! What impressed me most was that the B-side to this 7″ record was just as impressive as the A-side. “Trading Bars” is also on the album from Nottingham’s Son label. This track has a little more than a tinge of reggae flavour to it and features Genesis Elijah, as do many of the tracks on the “Roadman Showcase”. (A full review of Roadman Showcase coming soon).
I have been sent so many top tunes and albums during the past few months, I just couldn’t resist covering as many of them as possible. My CD player and decks have been running constantly so I don’t miss one decent rhyme. This next album review is not what I would call new anymore, but it has given me a new passion for a different style of hip-hop all together…….
Foreign Beggars – Asylum Speakers
This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. With brilliantly produced music using bits of samples, acoustic instruments and some of Dag Nabbits’ home-grown tracks, “Asylum Speakers” shows the diversity and difference in all the styles and beats. From tracks like “Hold On” ft DVS and Skinnyman, to “Where did the sun go” ft the man with the big smile Tommy Evans, this album is all over the different genres like a rash. The crew are from all different walks of life and this shows. Producer Dag Nabbit gains his influences from classical music, a touch of rock and the obvious drum & bass, trip hop and electronica. Orifice Vulgatron is additionally known as MC drop in and around the drum & bass scene. Doing a shit load of gigs with the likes of Andy C, DJ Craze, Grooverider, Fabio (all of the big names) in Dubai must have a great influence on his music. Basically, if you like a bit of spice in your hip hop and are a bit bored of struggling to fight against oppression and societies ills, have a taste of this fucker. It’ll blow ya head off. I know it’s not a new album but for those who haven’t heard of it, you’ll love it I’m tellin’ ya. P.S Look out for some new tracks coming from the Foreign Beggars. Last time I heard they were coming out in September. Well….that’s about now. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher next to your CD player this shit will be on fire!
Swampfoot: Seen To Be Believed
I first heard of Swampfoot when they came to my home town to do a gig. After standing and listening to three 16 or 17 year olds do a blurred and muffled shouting set, I couldn’t wait for them to come on. When they did I was both highly inebriated and very impressed. In my drunken stupor I approached them and said I would like to play their tracks out and write a review on any tune they wished me to write one on. Lucky for me they didn’t think I was crazy. They sent me a few tunes and I have to say they sent me the tune that stood out from the set during the whole night. “Seen to be believed” is an incredibly funky tune. With a kind of quirky reggae/blues guitar rift carrying the rhythm all the way through this up beat dance floor banger. There’s some nice scratching to start the tune off quickly and Bang! A type of hard hittin’ lyrics so full of confidence it’s the type of track that makes you pull your head up, push your chest out and handle yours. But it does this without aggression, there’s a nice tone to it that somehow makes you feel good. Even the non hip hop lovers got into this one and filled the dance floor. This track is my writers’ choice. It can be streamed as many times as you like. So get on it and check out their website. The link is at the bottom of the page. There’s loads of tracks to listen to, videos to download (some funny shit) and pictures to see. Swampfoot, Genesis Elijah and Wordsmith are confirmed to perform at Longuistics @ PoNaNa in Lincoln on Friday October 21st. £5 Entry, what a bargain. Get your arses there if your Midlands/Northern territory, or if you just love hip hop. Get a train!
Faz’s Buzz Records
Def Tex – ‘Freaks’ EP
Country folk can hip hop too you know! As evidence of this fact I introduce Def Tex, Norfolk’s finest hip hop crew, as this new ep demonstrates. Go on check out the tracks if you don’t believe me!
Jumbonics – ‘Super-Baxophone’
Pioneers of the Scratch nights in London Rob Mac and Matt Smooth have teamed up to form Jumbonics. Their new album ‘Super-Baxophone’ is a down tempo treat for serious after hours chilling. The album has all the right ingredients from hip hop to jazz with a touch of funk. If your looking for something to kick back to we recommend you buy this.
Part 2 – ‘Live from The Breadline’
‘Live From The Breadline’ serves up a hearty slice of dub infused hip hop from Part 2, the man behind New Flesh. A punchy bass line is prominent throughout this record and the vocal collaborations are superb, ‘Will It Ever’ which features the vocals of Sandra Melody is quite possibly one of this summers standout tracks and could be heard booming out of Sound Systems across the Notting hill Carnival! Have a listen for yourself…
NMS – ‘Imperial Letters Of Protection’
Bigg Jus formerly of well respected hip hop outfit Company Flow teamed up with avant-rap legend Orko Elohiem a couple of years ago, and this their second album as NMS is a refined vision of the two pioneering artists. This is an album heavy on abstract noise and anti war rhetoric, which can be fairly heavy going but is intriguingly innovative. If your looking to stray from the mainstream check this beast out!
So there we have it, the first instalment of “The Mix”. Now it’s fully restored, refreshed, re-invigorated and rejuvenated for all eyes to see.
Every time I update The Mix I will be droppin’ some links to decent websites around the globe. I will also be sharing some of the best graffiti I’ve seen on my travels.
Check out this weeks’:
If you want to send me any tunes to review or graffiti you want some credit for, drop me an email at and I’ll pass on my address for you to send me stuff to.
Links of the week
Peace. I’ll see you all in a fortnight.