Sunday, June 03, 2007

Beastie Boys just don't stop

How did three white Jewish kids from New York become one of the most influential musical groups of our lifetime? Lending a big hand in creation Def Jam Records helped. Being on the ground floor of the hip-hop movement that began to flourish in NY in the mid-80's was obviously an integral part of the process. Making friends with maestros such as Rick Rubin and the Dust Brothers was also necessary.

But, all of that would have been completely irrelevant if the Beasties didn't have the skills to consistently provide a worthy product for over a decade. And that, they have done. They are in fact one of the longest-lived hip-hop acts of all time. And that descriptor doesn't even take into account the punk/rock side that they showed us on classic albums like Check Your Head and Ill Communication.
The Beastie Boys are back in 2007 to write yet another chapter of their prolific career, with an entirely instrumental album titled The Mix-Up that will hit shelves on June 26th via Capitol. It will be their first release since 2004's To the 5 Boroughs, which, as good as it was, didn't quite equal the mastery of Hello Nasty. Pfork recently had a chat about the new album with Mike D, who provided the skinny:
"The album's title "is a bit of a double entendre, if you will. Any record we make is always about combining different ideas or different influences we have, and then with this record, it's an instrumental album. There are no vocals, no samples. We played everything. But as different as that might be from To the 5 Boroughs, it's equally different from instrumental songs we've done before, like the ones that were on The In Sound From Way Out! That was kind of one direction and this one [has] different influences, like Public Image Ltd., Gang of Four, the Slits, Killing Joke."

Even though The Mix-Up is a "post-punk instrumental" album, the Beasties have no plans to ditch vocals for good. In fact, they are currently planning another version of the album that will feature collaborations with "a pretty wide array" of "mostly newer" vocalists.
If this isn't cause for a Beasties-Appreciation-Revival, then I don't know what is. The Mix-Up is one of the most easily enjoyable mainstream releases that I have heard in some time. The album's tracklist plus two of my favorite selections from it, below...
  • The Beastie Boys - The Mix-Up (June 26, 2007)
  1. "B for My Name"
  2. "14th St. Break"
  3. "Suco de Tangerina"
  4. "The Gala Event"
  5. "Electric Worm"
  6. "Freaky Hijiki"
  7. "Off the Grid"
  8. "The Rat Cage"
  9. "The Melee"
  10. "Dramastically Different"
  11. "The Cousin of Death"
  12. "The Kangaroo Rat"
I had the entire "Beastie Boys at the Loreley Festival" bootleg on my hard drive, but somehow I've only been left with these two tracks. If anyone out there has the full boot and would be so kind as to send it my way, it would be much appreciated.
And, I'm reposting these two remixes from our pal Leo, because they're just that good.


aikin said...

I'm not sure where the Beasties are going with this instrumental album. I've always appreciated their lyrics - the wit and the references and such - but I don't know if they've become the stars they are because of their instrumental prowess.

I guess we'll see what happens. Thanks for the tracks, though.

Mr. Curiosity said...

They already went, and it sounds pretty good. They're just freeing themselves up a bit.

Worry not.

Anonymous said...

for live besatieboys go here!

Ekko said...

I'm a fan, although I thought their last few releases were kinda weak, but I appreciate their constant attempts to reinvent/move forward.

I actually have the education of a BB. One went to both the High Schools I went to (the one I was kicked out of and the one I landed in), and one went to my college. As did a member of Luscious Jackson.

That's as close to fame as I get.

Mr. Curiosity said...

That's an interesting connection you've got there, Ekko.

Anonymous said...

download as a two part .rar with rapidshare here.