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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 22, 2017 | Metalface - Nature Sounds

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The villainous one returns with another set of instrumentals and backing tracks used previously on his proper releases. While it's a great way to study the groovy loops and the perfect edits MF Doom creates, newcomers should know that tracks are untouched for the most part, not mind-blowing turntable workouts or grand remixes. That's cool for Doom fans, since his lyric-filled albums require mucho attention to really work their magic. Instead, the Special Herbs series provides those cool Doom grooves as background music, perfect for practicing your pimp walk, your MC skills, or your ability to adhere to the "puff, puff, give" policy. In fact, Special Herbs, Vols. 9 & 0 is less manipulated than usual; arguably the most dryly presented volume in the series. This works just fine for Doom's breezier beats as of late, with the loosest and most languid given extra time to stretch. The first half of the album rolls along nicely till the Laibach-meets-human-beatbox "'Untitled' (Meditation)" mashes things up. The second half ducks and weaves a bit more along with being funkier and firmly '70s. The risky bits come at the end with the frantic "Coca Leaf" hiccupping up a wailing diva, while "Peach Extract" brings the show to a close with a campy, Brazilian tickle. It adds up to the best flow the Special Herbs series has ever displayed and a great way to introduce Doom's unique production style to the groove-friendly. ~ David Jeffries

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 22, 2017 | Metalface - Nature Sounds

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Containing instrumental versions of previously released vocal tracks (everything from MF Doom's Operation: Doomsday to his work with K.M.D. and Monster Island Czars is represented here), a handful of previously vinyl-only cuts and some borrowed guest tracks from the likes of DJ Spinna, DJ Cucumber Slice, and Doom's long-lamented little brother DJ Sub-Roc, Special Herbs, Vol. 1 & 2 is a mish-mash of prog-inflected beats and crackpot schematics that wavers between being a little overlong and flirting with divine inspiration. Longtime fans shouldn't be fooled by the seemingly fresh track titles, though -- in keeping with the album's theme, even the most familiar beats have been renamed. In spite of MF Doom's signature production, which casts prog music's liquid tones on a variety of organic instruments, a few of these recycled cuts ("Arrow Root," "Mullein") suffer from repetition when unveiled in instrumental form. Sandwiched between some of the more trying loops, however, are some dazzlingly inventive offerings, namely the '70s cop-drama squeal of "Coriander," the rolling crush of "Fenugreek," the wiffly flutes of "Nettle Leaves," and the plush, liquid soul of "Monosodium Glutamate." Even the much-maligned low-budget game show cheese of "Zatar" deserves a nod, if nothing else than for its sheer imagination. ~ Mark Pytlik

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 22, 2017 | Metalface - Nature Sounds

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 22, 2017 | Metalface - Nature Sounds

Download not available