Thursday
Oct062011

AUDIO: 3:33 Company Flow Remix Menaces Like Vintage DJ Shadow

 

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: Ambient noise-minders 3:33 follow-up their Cannibal Ox homage with a rework of Company Flow's Funcrusher Plus classic.

By Kenny Herzog

Is that an owl head? 

 

Whoever's guiding the careers of doomy, gloomy, heady atmospherists 3:33 sure can recognize a timely recording opportunity. The past year has seen a huge boom in nostalgia for grimy underground NYC hip-hop icons Company Flow, who reunited this summer for some live dates in the wake of their 1997 classic, Funcrusher Plus, getting boffo reissue treatment. 

And to advance their own new LP, Live from the Grove (out Nov. 1 via Parallel Thought), 3:33 have offered up their remix of Funcrusher standout "Krazy Kings." As a presumable cheeky nod to Flow's release of an eventual "Krazy Kings Too" on their End to End Burners EP, 3:33 have dubbed their interpretation "Krazy Kings Pt. III."

Dub is an operative word. Most of El-P's verses, along with the song's contagious vocal hook, remain in-tact, but his trademark retro-apocalyptic production is subbed out for 3:33's snarling dirge, which can't help but evoke DJ Shadow's Cliff Burton-cribbing low-end on Entroducing's "The Number One Song." Those with the proper headphones can hear odd, clipped spoken-word samples and an ominous ambience that reverberates at the mix's edge, rather than parallel with El-P's flow.

It can be easy to get lost into different tunnels of sound on "Krazy Kings Pt. III," which is its virtue and detriment. It's evocative, moody ear-candy, but does distill the primal snap of Company Flow's original and the tension between verse and hook. And, to some extent, it takes the ear away from El-P's twisted delivery and lyrical intelligence as a charismatic focal point. But 3:33 has officially got our attention, and after a sneak-preview of Live from the Grove, there's enough Salem-meets-APSE-meets-Teargas & Plateglass mystique to warrant endeavoring on their particular aural journey.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Hey, it's a free country. Which version do you like better?

COMPANY FLOW "KRAZY KINGS" ORIGINAL

3:33 "KRAZY KINGS PT. III" REMIX

Company Flow - Krazy Kings Part III (3 33 Mix) by PThought

 

IN OUR OPINION, THE REMIX GETS.... RATING: 6.5/10

INTRIGUE IN 3:33'S IMPENDING FULL-LENGTH RATING: Om/10

 

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Tuesday
Oct042011

V.V. Brown's 'Lollipops' Probably Won't Suck

 

 

MUSIC-NEWS REVIEW: The British R&B up-and-comer announces the deets on her eminent return, and offers sneak-peek at bouyant new single.

By Kenny Herzog

V.V.-Voom!


This time last year, not-yet-30 singer/songwriter V.V. Brown was about to announce the cancellation of her Fall 2011 U.S. tour. It was a disappointing button on an otherwise wonderfully unpredictable year for the heavily promoted chanteusse. But her debut 2009 LP, Travelling Like the Light, stuck in people's craniums (especially REVIEWniverse Co-Editor Robbie Woliver's review) while the likes of Adele and Janelle Monae kept the interest level in soulful vocalists with an edge high and steady. 

Today, her label, Capitol Records, confirmed the title and tracklist for her impending 2012 follow-up. The tantalizingly christened Lollipops and Lipstick features Chiddy Bang on one track, and a tight-and-tidy 10 cuts overall. Based on this just-released preview clip (and as is reinforced in the below footage from her appearance on the first season of MTV's World of Jenks), it appears we can expect more of what made Brown so special and loveable the first time around: pure joy. 

 

 

Tracklist for Lollipops and Lipstick:

1) Children featuring Chiddy (of Chiddy Bang)

2) Famous

3) Red Balloon

4) Tough Like Glue

5) Climbing High

6) Heartbeat

7) Be Yours

8) 10 Ft Tall

9) Circus Town

10) Like Fire

 

IN OTHER WORDS: 2012 may just get off to a kinetic start.

V.V.'S BACK RATING: 9/10

PROMISING, INFECTIOUS FIRST SINGLE RATING: 9/10

HOPEFULLY 2012 ISN'T ACTUALLY END OF DAYS RATING: Dotting Our I's and Our V's/10

 

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Tuesday
Oct042011

Alien Ant Farm Announce Least Interesting News Ever

 

 

MUSIC-NEWS REVIEW: The band known almost exclusively for its novelty Michael Jackson cover continues to do things and announce things.

By Kenny Herzog

The monkey no one asked Alien Ant Farm to get off their back.

 

The only people getting more mileage these days out of Michael Jackson's death than tabloid media might be Alien Ant Farm, the jocular alt-rock band that made an impression in 2001 with their fun-but-noxious "Smooth Criminal" cover. Ten years later, despite failing to release anything that demonstrated their sustenance beyond a one-off goofball hit, the band is somehow participating in an upcoming U.K. MJ tribute with the likes of Smokey Robinson and Cee Lo Green. 

Actually, on second thought, even this is kind of terrible.


But alas, that's not even the big news, apparently. Apart from being dubiously attached to the King of Pop's legacy, Alien Ant Farm want us to know they've signed a new record deal with Executive Music Group, who will unveil their first LP in five years and only album with the "original lineup" since 2003. Which suggests that a new mandate needs to be imposed: Much like restaurants and other storefronts shouldn't be able to boast about their "Established" date on signage unless they've been open a minimum of two decades (said statue does not, but needs to, exist), record-label publicity ought to be prohibited from declaring returns to an "original lineup" unless said band has been estranged for no less than a decade and features members whose individual names could all be considered to have "household" status.

Even if one lacked prior awareness of this particular California quartet, it's easy enough to deduce that any band named Alien Ant Farm probably doesn't meet those requirements.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: That MJ tribute actually sounds pretty interesting. Might have to see if we can get on Alien Ant Farm's guest list.

ALIEN ANT FARM'S "ORIGINAL LINEUP" RATING: 4/10

ALIEN ANT FARM'S RETURN TO "ORIGINAL LINEUP" RATING: 2/10

THEIR "SMOOTH CRIMINAL" COVER BEING JUST ENOUGH, THANK YOU: 8/10

 

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