The Nextmen

Blunted in the Backroom

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There's just something irresistible about a mix program that blends vintage reggae rhythms with modern hip-hop, ornamenting everything with flourishes of turntablist bravado. Especially when it's such an obvious labor of love on the part of the compilers and turntablists, as is clearly the case with Cambridge-born DJ duo the Nextmen. There aren't many surprises here -- the pair draws on such classic rhythms as "Stalag 17" (juxtaposing Buju Banton and Lone Ranger on an update of "Ring the Alarm"), "Blood and Fire" (on a brilliant update of that roots classic featuring Dynamite MC), and Augustus Pablo's "East of the River Nile" (featuring People Under the Stairs). Bob Marley makes the obligatory multiple appearances and his material is largely left alone -- which is too bad, since the Wailers' creepy "Mr. Brown" and frankly boring "Rainbow Country" would have both benefited from a bit of creative deconstruction. But there's just no arguing with 99 percent of this nearly 80-minute program, which also includes crucial songs from Jimmy Cliff ("Wonderful World, Beautiful People"), Barrington Levy ("Shaolin Temple"), and Ninjaman (who teams up with Flourgon on the wonderful "Zig It Up"). If you buy no other volumes in the Blunted series, then make sure you grab this one.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: The Pioneers
0:15
2
0:28
3
1:21
4
feat: Val Bennett
5:07
5
3:13
6
feat: KRS-One
3:11
7
2:05
8
feat: Bob Marley
3:39
9
1:56
10
2:11
11
3:07
12
2:18
13
4:32
14 3:32
15
feat: Ninjaman
4:18
16
feat: Stinga D
3:54
17
1:29
18
feat: Dynamite MC
3:42
19
1:39
20 2:22
21
3:48
22
2:26
23
feat: Bob Marley
1:32
24
2:07
25
feat: Jimmy Cliff
1:29
26
feat: The Pioneers
3:10
27
feat: Bob Marley
3:06
28
feat: Ken Boothe
0:17
29
2:27
30
feat: Keith Hudson
4:21
31
32
33
34
feat: Prince Jammy
35
feat: The Viceroys
36
feat: Bob Marley
blue highlight denotes track pick