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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Kut Masta Kurt
Redneck Games
Waxploitation Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


January 29, 2005
From the Neptunes to DJ Muggs, RZA to Kanye West, Eric B to DJ Polo, Ninth Wonder to El-P, the best hip-hop producers' beats are recognizable within the first couple of bars, no matter who is spitting over the track. L.A.'s Kut Masta Kurt, best known for his work with Kool Keith (sadly remembered now more as a late 90s multi-aliased precursor to MF Doom than the creative force he once was…) and Motion Man, falls within that revered canon. His cut and paste beats, all stuttering samples artfully placed within the stop-start drum hits and bass that are his bread and butter, are a prime example of "signature sound."

As the evidence clearly displays on his latest release, a collection of Kurt's remixes from the past few years called Redneck Games, Kurt's services have been in demand by some of the top underground and mainstream hip-hop artists for some time now. Besides the occasional rare miss, the shit is on.

Roaring to a start with a statement of mainstream acceptance, Kurt conquers the Beastie Boys' "Body Movin'" with suspenseful strings and typical-KMK phrasing, a very different take from the old school flavor of the original.

Mos Def and Diverse's "Wylin' Out" is given full raga treatment as sitars and tablas go hip-hop under a furious rhyme-storm. Kurt seems to have some sort of affection for crap-rockers Linkin Park, which for true music fans, is a bit hard to understand, but he manages to remix their angsty, howl-filled "In the End" to a better purpose, helped along by Motion Man's raps. Skipping this track, however, only brings one closer to gems like Planet Asia's spectacular "Golden Age," an unadulterated KMK-infused track of string hits, bass drops, and samples assembled like Legos that propel Asia's unrivaled flow.

The collection continues on with the likes of Blackalicious, PMD, and Rasco, before culminating in two of the best tracks: Motion Man's "Show Up For Practice," which employs an Ultramagnetic MC's sample, and Kool Keith's "I Don't Believe You," a marked improvement upon the Moog-funk of the original.

Apparently, there was some legal trouble with the Olympic Committee over the original title of this compilation, but the Funky Redneck seems to have put that to rest with the current title. Redneck Games is apparently a showcase of what Kurt considers to be his best and favorite work, and the tongue-in-cheek interview with a mystified European interviewer at the end of the disc is a prime example of just how much fun he seems to have as he makes his beats. Whether he's rocking the fake beard or the Mexican wrestler mask, Kut Masta Kurt is fearlessly lacing tracks for MCs worldwide.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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