23 Skidoo

Just Like Everybody, Part 2

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The 23 Skidoo reissue program through the group's Ronin label continued in 2002 with the release of Just Like Everybody, Part 2, a disc that compiles unreleased tracks that were recorded between 1986-2000. Since the overwhelming majority of 23 Skidoo's most vital and enduring moments were released prior to this period, the disc is skipable for casual fans, who would be best-served by sticking to Seven Songs and the The Culling Is Coming compilation. The group bounded around through several stylistic shifts in focus during its existence, whether it was dealing in rhythmic post-punk, industrial-style tape manipulation, bracing world fusion, or sample-heavy beat constructing. One thread that remained throughout all of the group's endeavors was a flair for the cinematic, and that thread is as evident as ever in these previously shelved remnants. During the period covered here, the group composed music for commercials (liquor, sneakers, jeans, etc.), so it's possible that some scrapped material intended for that use can be heard here. The overriding factor throughout the disc is the group's love of hip-hop -- most of these tracks feature a thick backbeat, whether it's the surprisingly acid jazz-like "Clan Break" or tracks like "Meltdown," "Eye Spy," and "Suspense," which seem suited for soundtracking extended stretches of urban landscape. There's also an alternate version of the group's most infamous cut, "Coup," that reshapes the original into a relaxed but hardly chill-out-friendly groove that wouldn't be out of place on David Holmes' Let's Get Killed. Regardless of the group's undeniable role in the growth of alternative music, Just Like Everybody, Part 2 has enough strong moments to appeal to those who love instrumental hip-hop and disdain trip-hop for the form's slothful tendencies.

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