Sunday, 22 July 2007



Released quite a while after “Ill Communication” dropped the Root Down EP is an interesting ten song release seemingly put out to capitalise on the continued success and longevity of the album it came from.

A genuine mixed bag of items the first three tracks are variations of the title track with a Free Zone mix that adds the almost dark gothic beats that started to surround the scene around the period and a PP Balloon mix that completely dismantles the instrumentation of the song giving it a sparse and minimal expression interrupted by the occasionally expertly inserted sample.

The track “Root Down” itself appeared on the album as a juggernaut of a track sounding like a panicked early morning journey on the New York subway serving as some kind of declaration of defiance and announcement as to how they roll. As the name checks fly in the percussion rules supreme as the thumping bass serves up true motion.

The remainder of the EP takes the form of live tracks record in Europe during 1995 serving up a sweet mix of live reinventions of old favourites (“Time To Get Ill”, “The Maestro”), even spikier versions of their hardcore songs (“Heart Attack Man”, “Time For Livin”) and blissed out flabby extensions of their funk instrumental workouts (“Sabrosa”), all of which benefit from being exhibited in the live setting off the back of these performances.

A live version of “Something’s Got To Give” delivered in the vocal style of Frampton and caked in Atari 2600 sound clips closes the EP before launching into a brief hidden and apparent Hebrew version of “So Whatcha Want?”

Thesaurus moment: shrewd.

Beastie Boys
Grand Royal

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