Wednesday, July 11, 2007

HIEROGLYPHICS - Hiero B-Sides 1996

Another entry in the Hieroglyphics crew's series of cassette- and online-only releases, Hiero B Sides is exactly what it says it is, the backsides of various singles garnered from albums by Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Souls of Mischief, Casual, and Extra Prolific, most of which inexplicably gained little commercial success outside small pockets of the hip-hop community. Unlike many artists, Hieroglyphics are creative enough to put songs as strong as or stronger than the a-sides on their singles, full of the same dirty '70s electric pianos, waka-waka guitars, and pulsating rhythmic bottom, and so Hiero B Sides would seem to be a perfect introduction to Hieroglyphic artists. But rather than compiling the b-sides as a proper collection, Hieroglyphics have assembled the songs in a seamless fashion so that the cassette plays the role of mixtape.
The songs are not sequenced according to linearity or source, they are sequenced logically according to their rhythmic pulse and their compatability with the surrounding songs, into and out of which they roll. On the one hand, because of its relentless nature, Hiero B Sides is not likely to inspire sustained listening. On the other hand, it is a perfect party soundtrack. But while it serves that function nicely, it also has the flavor of a missed opportunity. Many of the original versions of these songs are on the individual artists' albums; those albums are mostly out-of-print, and a couple are even difficult to track down. In addition, some of the songs are remixes or alternate versions even unavailable on the original albums. Couple that with the fact that these b-sides are so uniformly strong, and a collection of the songs in their proper forms would be welcome.

- Clique Abaixo:

1 comment:

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