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Mental Combat 911

Author: Blaze
Monday, 16 June 2008
Grindin’ has served up another one of those types of CDs that you can give to your foreign or touristy mates to show ‘em what’s going on down here. This time it’s via a tasty mix from Melbourne’s DJ Flagrant and his Homegrown - Volume 1. It’s a non-stop action packed party that never lets up in its frenetic delivery, the way a good mixtape should be: hyper, dynamic and relentless. There’s a varying choice of artists that are culled from six different states/territories, with only NT and Tassie missing out. NFA, Bias B, Foreign Heights, A-Love, Def Wish Cast, Autism, Funkoars, Katalyst and Downsyde are just some of the artists that span the 70mins. Even Mass MC and Thorn’s classic BBQ Song gets another whirl. Has the UK’s Mystro lodged his residency form in yet, ‘cause here he pops up again on two tracks, one with Phrase and the other with the Hilltop Hoods. Apart from that charismatic ring-in, its pretty much 100% local accents and I’m thankful for that, ‘cause that’s the way it should be. The Homegrown Anthem is the only previously unreleased track and it’s another M-Phazes banger with Phrase, NFA, Illy and Flagrant all up in the house. A great start to a worthwhile release. Give a copy to your favourite auntie. Next time you see her she might even be seen sticking up posters of Autism in her bedroom. The backyard renovating photo-shoot was a nice touch.

Also coming from Grindin is resident Canadian K-Note with his latest dancehall reggae mix Dutty Bass Vol 2. The usual suspects are in here, such as Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Capleton, but nice to hear Tanya Stephens and Richie Stevens. Seriously, how many mixes will Sister Nancy’s Bam Bam turn up on- Nelly Furtado was a surprise and Kevin Lyttle’s Eurovision submission Losing Control was just plain weird, but overall I was unfamiliar with the majority of the tracks and I presume that is the point both of K-Note’s selection and the release. Exposing the type of music that rarely gets a nod on radio or in the clubs anywhere in this country. You can check for more K-Note antics every Friday night on Alchemy via SBS Radio.

They must’ve read my mind, for the new single from Muph & Plutonic  Size of the Soul is exactly how I wanted to hear them. Well er, not exactly them per se, but I’m glad they penetrated my brain and grabbed the right ingredients anyway. Can’t complain, because this track is just brilliant. It’s of a delicate luscious nature with evocative background vocal samples, sci-fi laser swishes, generously ample horn lines and some sensitive soulful scratches from DJ Bonez. With such an impressive track as this, it makes me sweat in anticipation for their forthcoming album And Then Tomorrow Came. The three-piece horn section consists of jazz great Paul Williamson on baritone sax, Carlo Barbaro on tenor sax and The Bamboos member Ross Irwin on trumpet. I mean hello. Shit is mad hot.

Sydney duo Spit Syndicate has been touring the country with the Obese Crew for the 5th Block Party. Unfortunately their album Towards the Light will drop after the tour has concluded. In the meantime hopefully some airplay will have been put aside for the first single, the catchy as all hell Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. The crackly down-tempo piano tinkled beat comes from the always busy M-Phazes. An excellent jump-off point for Nick Lupi and Just Enuff who’ve crafted a very radio friendly chorus that might just see them get that essential airplay.

Seems like the right people are loving the new 7L and Esoteric adventure Esoteric Vs. Japan (Pterodactyl Takes Tokyo!). And so they should. It’s one hell of a creative endeavour. There needs to be more like it. Throwing everything that is expected of an artist out the window to create something truly unique and fresh sounding, whilst still giving the listener the rawness is something I’m kinda partial to. This time the Boston heavyweight Eso has gone Japanese with some excellent tokusatsu and sentai styled references, musically and lyrically. Apparently all the samples were culled from Japanese records and English dubs of Japanese films and TV shows. Now I’m a fan of the original source material, think Godzilla, Kamen Rider, Ultraman, Shogun Warriors, etc… so I was already over this like a bad rash. I even recently lashed out for the excellent English subtitled DVD box sets of Iron King and Red Baron, so this CD went down a treat. Seek it out if you appreciate something a little bit left of centre, but also rewarding for anyone who still hangs onto their collections of original Transformers.