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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Future Sound - The Whole Shabang, Vol. 1 (Atlantic 1992)

In the early 90s, The Future Sound (of New Rochelle, New York) were wide-eyed new jack signees on big time Atlantic Records managed (along with Original Flavor) by the brothers Darien and Damon Dash (later of Roc-A-Fella Records fame). Shabang is an undeservedly overlooked work that teems with layered, bouncy rhythms and fantastic, mellifluous rhymes. Emcees Flashback and Relay trade the wordiest of verses in refreshingly unassuming tones that invite flattering, if constraining comparisons to Tribe and De La. Although plainly indebted to the D.A.I.S.Y. Age’s style of speak and coolly narcotic vibe, The Future Sound crew innovates on its influences by sprinkling a measure of humble populism into its ghetto futuristic jams. Shabang’s distinctiveness lies in its abstruse accessibility, the way it replicates the sweetly melodic eccentricity of “Plug Tunin’,” infuses it with the dirty club groove of “Youthful Expression” and leaves the ceremony in the hands of a couple of long-winded, idealistic, pop-culture obsessed everymen. 3XDope and the UMCs released similarly spirited, unconventional debut long-players that have since aged rather nicely, but neither group was half as adept as TFS at smuggling cerebral subject matter into grooves built to bump so lovely. After Critical Beatdown, Shabang is the closest approximation of Rammelzee’s psychedelic freestyles ever committed to wax during rap’s Middle Skool. Flashback and Relay flow with no end in sight while referencing TV shows, records, and books at a breakneck pace rarely achieved by the Native Tongues or their myriad associates. Unlike the frantic namedropping employed by Das EFX, the allusions on this record provide the lengthy raps with additional meaning and substantive context. Like most any rap group then or now, TFS reserve numerous moments for burning wack emcees, keeping the party moving, or speaking on trifling honies. However, they also devote a significant portion of this hugely eclectic, experimental record to a straightforward and unpretentious dialogue with their audience about everyday realities, including those of the harsh and unpleasant variety. Even the most comprehensible track, the Sly Stone beatjack “The Function,” sees the duo implore the party people to let the music take control and yet remain open enough to digest the heady lyrics. It’s a most difficult challenge for certain, as the sounds range from the soulful and noisy “Flashback Relay and the Whole Shabang” to the danceable but dizzying “Lady/What a Bro To Do?” to the sparkling pop of “Pixie Groove.” Nearly every track is a highly distracting head-nodder and TFS get infinite dap for refusing to dumb any of their material down or cakewalk their way to clarity.

Check this link for the comments which have some cool info also.

01 - Intro
02 - This Is a Game
03 - Function
04 - Flashback Relay and The Whole Shabang
05 - Star Struck (Caterpillar Style)
06 - Thread
07 - Bop Step
08 - Lady/What's a Bro to Do?
09 - Pixie Groove
10 - Scriptic Cryptic
11 - Primates in Stitches
12 - Flashback Relay and The Whole Shabang (Wig Out Mix)
13 - Sucka Set
14 - Jungle-O
15 - When the Ends Meet (Life of the Futuristic B-Boy)

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Jaz said...

Oh Yeahhhhhh, a timeless album and Ski was on so ill the production with this one, these kids were like a step up from Original Flavor to me, I love this album and it was released at the right time if you ask me, I am pleased to own the CD still.

Rap nerds will notice that on one of the interludes, the background Jazz sample was later used in 1994 for OC's Buckwild produced classic "Times Up"

Beth said...

FINALLY! I've been waiting for someone to post that for a while now.... I have it on cassette still, but no way to listen to it.
Thanks - this one is going to bring back some memories.

travis said...

Last year was actually the first time I heard the whole damn thing and I can't believe I slept on it. I liked the single back in the day, but I don't know why I didn't buy it back then.

The Gosub Routine said...

this does sound really like my "bag".
I like the sound of this Lp.

Hugo the Dude said...

I actually have a cd copy of this somewhere in my moms house but I never listend to it.. I will check it a soon as i find it..

A friend gave it to me on my birthday some year because he knew I was into hip hop and he had it laying around. I have no idea where he got from, I mean he's listen to skate-punk.. It dosn't seem like a cd that would sell alot in Sweden... said...

Respect Jaz, But while Ski was present in the studio for a portion of the albums post-creation, he had little to no input on anything other than the remix of the Bop Step (a few drum sounds). Clark Kent was responsible for the production of Scriptic Criptic. The rest was fully pre-produced and post-produced by Flashback and Relay A.k.a. TFS
1 love

Jaz said...

Flashback, thanks for that clarification, after I went back and looked at CD inlay, I see that you are right, I might have meant to say Clark Kent, still love the album.


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