The Fire This Time

Still Dancing on John Wayne's Head

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    8
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The Fire This Time is a loose collective of politically active hip-hop, reggae and techno artists dedicated to radical agitation and funky breaks. Those who are more interested in the latter than the former needn't worry -- every moment of eye-rolling rhetorical banality ("I'll be honest with you, I hate war") is buttressed by a compelling rhythmic structure, whether it's Michael Franti's loping hip-hop groove or the Asian Dub Foundation's trippy, clattering drum'n'bass. On "Warriors Dub," Pat Andrade and Nick Mannaseh take Krikati Indian chants from Brazil and wed them to a nice midtempo reggae groove; "Reso Para 'Jah'" combines English, Spanish and Mohawk vocals and folds them into a crunchy Adrian Sherwood mix. Just goes to show that "politically correct" and "fun" don't have to be antonyms. Highly recommended.

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