The X-ecutioners

Scratchology

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The X-Ecutioners' 2003 follow-up to their first taste of the mainstream (2002's Built from Scratch) is devoid of marketing ploys (i.e., no collaborations with Linkin Park, et al.) as DJs Roc Raida, Rob Swift, and Total Eclipse stay knee-deep in the mixing and deck wizardry that led them to the forefront of the early 21st century turntablist movement. Most of the cuts here are simply DJ mixes of the some of the trio's all-time favorites with occasional touchup work. The one true original track is "Premier's X-ecution" (featuring a tag-team effort with the one and only Premo). But while turntablist heads can appreciate the subtleties and inner workings of the X-Men's craftwork, the mass populace will find little to hold onto here musically. Tracks are chopped, diced, and pureed to the DJs' liking, leaving little room for even the most open-minded of musical aesthetes. While the effort is noble and the aim toward the preservation of hip-hop's time-honored turntable tradition is worthy, the X-Ecutioners (as with most DJs/turntablists) are likely at their best when they're in their natural element: rocking and shocking a live crowd.

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