WordSound Communique #54
In certain occult traditions, the number 7 represents God, a fact not lost to the Overlord of the Underground, Bin Laden of the Bass Bins, Spectre, The Ill Saint, who drops his seventh full-length, Internal Dynasty (WSDD010/WSLP054). An album of wide-ranging styles and uncompromising quality, Internal Dynasty, the third part of a trilogy featuring Psychic Wars (WSCD043) and Transcendent (WSDD007), finds our Dark Knight striving for perfection.
Clocking in at a spare 42 minutes (so it would fit on vinyl), Internal Dynasty, none-the-less takes you on an epic journey into the sonic realms of the Other Side--from Spectre's dark and menacing signature beatscapes to jagged, uptempo bangers that spotlight a smorgasbord of talented MCs. Brooklyn's MY Werkz, who has dropped jewels on Spectre's last two albums shines again on "Event Horizon." Meanwhile, Wu-Tang affiliate Solomon Childs (aka Killa Bamz) demonstrates the latest Shaolin styles on "Riffin'." And it wouldn't be a party without Sensational who swaps slang with Bed-Stuy's finest, Black Chameleon, on the club-friendly, "Trillin'." And that's just the Yankees! Internal Dynasty also features lyrical contributions from Brazil's Mamelo Sound System ("Vai Na Fe"); Germany's Plagiat of Seelenfresser ("Stimmen Im Kopf") and Hyperaktiv ("Let It Grow"); and Gebo ("Catch a Fire"), who hails from Osaka, Japan, making this an album of truly global proportions.
But the heart and soul of the production-the beatz-are strictly New York circa 1995-something the RZA, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock could get down with. One might be tempted to say that Spectre has gone back to basics, but then again, listen to a broken beat like "Fracture," and you'll think otherwise. Innovation is still the Ill Saint's mantra as he elevates sampling to new heights.
And his message floats subliminally like ear-candy in the mix. From the Rasta-inspiration of "Stone," crafted from a familiar Jimi Hendrix riff, to the closing lines of "The Epiphany," Spectre knows that the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, are all buried deeply within. All of us.
Review (Italian) from Dagheisha
Review from Dusted
Review from Noise Mag (opens as PDF)
For more information/interviews contact Skiz @ 410-733-0566
Download Communique #54 HERE
Review (Babelfish recommended for translation):
From The Wire:
SPECTRE Internal Dynasty The legacy of the so-called illbient scene of the mid-1990s is a mixed one. On the one hand, labels such as Brooklyn’s WordSound and artists such as Sensational and Scotty Hard showed the fertile musical underside of urban New York, a teeming microculture of funky bugs and parasites lurking under the fat carcass of hiphop. On the other, the deep faith in sampling and the remix as infallible creative catalysts can seem slightly dated these days, as do some of the chunkier, skunkier beats, which are a little wasteful compared to the economic tick-tock of contemporary hiphop beats.
The beats are still on the chunky side on the latest album by Skiz Fernando, aka Spectre The Ill Saint and the boss of the WordSound label. But given the rigid, reactionary horizons of hiphop these days, an album which starts out mixing the “I tried to tell the children of Jah” vocal from “Tappa Zukie In Dub” into Jimi Hendrix’s “Stone Free” is bound to sound stunningly fresh in comparison – it’s frankly rare these days for a hiphop album to trust its audience to connect such disparate dots. Internal Dynasty has other new elements in the mix, too. “Catch A Fire” with Japanese rapper Gebo features some of the most awesome polysyllabic flows I’ve ever heard, Sensational raps more dextrously than he has for years, and there are Latino and German voices elsewhere.
Internal Dynasty is not a huge departure from the WordSound sound of
the mid-90s, but it’s surprisingly forceful nonetheless. The decade
and more since the heyday of illbient has also provided alternative perspectives
from which to view the beat digging WordSound excels in – the stinking
audio-reclamation on display here suggests parallels with contemporary
tape fiends such as The Skaters or the No Fun Productions label as much
as the Wu-Tang.