It’s been a while, so in my head I was getting The Mix-Up confused with The In Sound From Way Out. THAT album is a compilation of the instrumental tracks from the previous Beastie Boys records. THIS record is the official seventh studio album from the mixmasters, an all original instrumental album that serves as a respite from the hard rap stance of To The 5 Boroughs, and for me personally it’s one of the best records to just throw on a chill to, a laid back groove session that reinforces the chemistry between Diamond, Yauch, and Horovitz.
There’s a great middle finger vibe to one of the most popular hip-hop acts putting out an instrumental album, and one that doesn’t suck, but feels completely organic and a cohesive part of the band’s sonic identity. Could any one of these tracks feel at home on a future album, either as a musical segue or the backing to a vocal track? Sure, but the trick of The Mix-Up is the way it can be that but simultaneously its own thing, an electro-lounge jam party, one where the dancing is slow and low (that is the tempo) (-1 for cheap callbacks) and the drinks all have exotic, made-up names like “Suco de Tangerine,” “Electric Worm” and “The Kangaroo Rat.”
Despite that, you can hear the earlier hardcore influences peeking through, such as on the opening bass line to a song like “The Rat Cage” or the guitar/bass tones on “Cousin of Death” and closer “Biscuits and Butter.” All of it together equals something that never fails to put me on the right track, clears my head and reminds me of what I want to be. Lately it does this more than metal, more than much else.