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1. Intime - (featuring Ramm Ell Zee)
2. Conspiracies - (featuring Kool Keith/KutMasta Kurt)
3. Rodent Robots - (featuring Extrakd/Eddie Def)
4. Burnin' - (featuring Flavor Flav/Phonosycograph Disk/D.X.T.)
5. Who Wakes the Rooster? - (featuring Extrakd/Eddie Def)
6. This Morning - (featuring Juggaknots/Breeze/Queen Heroine)
7. No Guts No Galaxy - (featuring Ramm Ell Zee/Phonosycograph Disk)
8. Temple of the Mental - (featuring Killah Priest)
9. All That Future - (featuring Lori Carson/Bernie Worrell)
10. My Style Is I Ain't Got No Style - (featuring Nature Boy Jim Kelly)
11. Snipers for Biters - (featuring Extrakd/Eddie Def)
12. Checkpoint 0.1 - (featuring Scotty Hard/Elwood/Ted Parsons)
13. Mind Drift - (featuring Ahlill The Transcending Soldier/Alicia Blue)
14. Life Itself - (featuring The Ghetto Prophets/D.X.T.)
15. Flow - (featuring Alicia Blue)
16. Freestyle Journal - (featuring Ahlill The Transcending Soldier/Phonosycograph Disk/Jerome "Big Foot" Brailey)
17. Hisstory - (featuring Ramm Ell Zee)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2019
Personnel includes: Bill Laswell, Flavor Flav, Killah Priest, Kool Keith, Kut Masta Kurt, Ram Ell Zee, Alicia Blue, Lori Carson, Extrakd, Ahlill The Trancending Soldier, Eddie Def.
Producers include: Bill Laswell, Scotty Hardy, Mr. Len (Company Flow), Extrakd, Eddie Def.
Engineers include: Robert Musso, Scott Harding, Vassos.
Principally recorded at Orange Music Sound Studios, West Orange, New Jersey and Greenpoint Studios, Brooklyn, New York.
Recording information: Orange Music Sound Studios, Wes.
Things sure have changed since Material (then a trio consisting of bassist/producer Bill Laswell, drummer Fred Maher, and keyboardist Michael Beinhorn) released its first EP of mildly abrasive experimental art-funk in 1979. These days, Beinhorn and Maher are out of the picture, and Material is just a name that Laswell gives to one of his many collaborative projects. This time out, Material is Laswell and a motley crew of rappers and DJs. The disc's package is emblazoned with the defiant slogan "Rapping is still an art," which tends to raise one's expectations somewhat. Those expectations are more or less borne out, too. As is his wont, Laswell provides instrumental settings that are dark, rhythmically complex, and bone-shakingly bass-heavy; on top of his foundational beats there are expert turntable manipulations from the likes of DXT (known to old-school aficionados as Grandmaster D.ST) and phonosycographDISK, rapping by Ramm Ell Zee, Scotty Hard, Killah Priest, Flavor Flav, and others, and even a cameo appearance by wispy-voiced art-pop singer Lori Carson (whose "All That Future," a collaboration with funky keyboard legend Bernie Worrell, turns out to be one of the album's highlights). Flavor Flav is his typical off-the-wall self on "Burnin'," while Killah Priest gets arrhythmically serious on the six-minute recitation "Temple of the Mental." Alicia Blue provides the aptly titled "Flow," and Kool Keith weighs in with "Conspiracies," a lyrical theme that keeps returning throughout the album. The only weak point here comes, unfortunately, at the very end, with Ramm Ell Zee's obnoxious and stupid "Hisstory." That aside, this is highly recommended overall. ~ Rick Anderson
Alternative Press (12/99, p.105) - 3 out of 5 - "...sets its sights on the streets, as [he] devises hip-hop tracks for a variety of guest-star MCs and DJs....But prepare for an extraordinary and harrowing appearance in Killah Priest's brilliant apocalypse ode 'Temple Of The Mental'..."
The Wire (11/99, p.58) - "...what is compelling about [the album] is its fluid ability...to plug into all manner of antecedents....Rather than offering a blueprint for the future, it presents a map of the present - confused and chaotic; dense, wayward and untrustworthy....a genuinely thought-provoking album..."
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Axiom Records PALMCD 20192
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