beastie boys - the mix up

Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)

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. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)”

beastie boys - sounds of science

Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)

There’s an art to compilations, and it’s not always the same art.  Does that make sense?  I don’t know – it’s currently 10:30 in the morning and I’ve already had a snort of whisky in my coffee.  Anyway, compilations can be a generic overview, target a specific period in time, or – if they’re really ambitious – display an evolution of artistic exploration in such a way as to capture an essence, a distillation of what makes a band unique.  So enter The Sounds of Science by the Beastie BoysContinue reading “Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)”

beastie boys - hello nasty

Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (1998)

We’re back…with an album I intended to cover a few weeks ago, so I’m going off the few notes I scribbled down concerning Hello Nasty, the 1998 melange of styles brought to the table by the one, the only, Beastie Boys.  Breaking out of the grungy soul/funk hybrids that made up Check Your Head and Ill Communication,  things go a little more old school 80s with a lot more traditional sampling and scratching, but the imprint of what the band did is unmistakable.  Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (1998)”

beastie boys - ill communication

Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (1994)

Yes, this is the one with “Sabotage” and as gigantic as that song was (and still is), it’s almost a shame that it overshadows some of the finer moments of Ill Communication, the fourth album from the Beastie Boys.  I’m not going to pretend “Sabotage” isn’t a great song, but coming back to the full album after so much time it feels a little like the grander, more polished version of Check Your Head.  Which is great, but not enough to put this album over the top in my ranking of the B-Boys discography. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (1994)”

beastie boys - check your head

Beastie Boys: Check Your Head (1992)

It’s telling that the Beastie Boys are pictured with instruments on the cover of Check Your Head, their third album.  Constantly searching and evolving, the group put more of an emphasis on using live instrumentation, bringing in much more of the punk, rock, and soul/funk roots that colored their childhood.  If Paul’s Boutique is (arguably) the “best” Beastie Boys album, then Check Your Head is my favorite Beastie Boys album, the one that made me fall in love with the band. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Check Your Head (1992)”

axiom funk - funkcronomicon

Axiom Funk: Funkcronomicon (1995)

When I was 17 I was introduced to two albums that changed my life.  Hardcore Jollies and Up For the Downstroke were two sides of a puzzle I became obsessed over ever since: the hard rock attack of Funkadelic and the buttery soul funk of Parliament.  The concept of Axiom Funk is to take those elements – and players, and songs – and update them with the dub sonic foundation of Bill Laswell.  If all those things are your jam, then I welcome you to enter the Funkcronomicon. Continue reading “Axiom Funk: Funkcronomicon (1995)”