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REDMAN, METHOD MAN Album Reviews, Melody Maker 1995

REDMAN
DARE IS A DARKSIDE 
METHOD MAN 
TICAL 
(both Def Jam)
Melody Maker, 14 January 1995

REDMAN'S Whut? Thee Album came out around the first Cypress Hill's and for those that investigated it was even more blunted to the bone, streaked with blood and choking on its own dread.

This follow-up is just as cinematically lurid, the cover a kinda Nineties Maggot Brain, the music within a fiendish labyrinth of booming beats, croaked obscenity and paranoia. 'Bobyahed2dis' is so funky it has to be steam-peeled off the Buttholes. 'We Run N.Y.' is particularly slamming — voices stretched, hyped, slowed to a slimy crawl, jitter about the head like gabbering gibbering maniacs. Standout track has to be the incredible 'Green Island'; a staggering mesh of fat jeep beats, Hawaiian surf geetar and drunken doggerel that'll have your coked gills flapping in the depths. First essential hip hop LP of the year? Yeah, and here's the second.

Method Man you should know from Wu Tang. What was so amazing about the Clan wasn't really the violence and tuffness, it was the plain f***ing strangeness of their sound. Here (the other) MM takes it even further out. Seriously, I don't know how in hell to describe this record: weird oriental pluckings, Depthcharge beats, mad reedy violins, martial arts screams and synth caverns. And that's just the first minute. On 'Bring The Pain', producer Prince Rakeem (WuTang, Gravediggaz) unearths a sarcophagus of funk, the studio sounding like an immense, claustrophobic space with Rakeem wandering around playing on whatever fresh hell he can find. It's a genuinely terrifying album, full of impossible sounds, ghostly loops, bleak downered soundscapes. 'Mr Sandman' has a heavenly choirboy singing over a buzz of feasting swarm of flies. It's all highly gothic (just check the cover) but with a sense of purpose and truth to its environment. You can chart a line back from this through Nas and Jeru, and this album is at least as good as those two; you can also let this LP work as the darkest, most profoundly troubled piece of trip hop you'll hear this year outside the Tricky album. Only 'Release Yo Self' offers any kind of respite. Grim, bleak, remorseless, and utterly compelling, Tical is the horrorcore LP after Niggamortis that you absolutely must own. Another year, another coupla hip hop releases, another five years for pop to catch up. To catch up with either of these LPs, tie your head to the nearest bong and point it towards hell.

Far out.

© Neil Kulkarni, 1995

Comments

  1. great review,Ive got both these and haven't heard them in ages. feel the need to dig them out and stick them on really loud now. the best solo albums either did imo

    ReplyDelete

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