Mucho Macho

The Limehouse Link

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With sickly greed, Britain's Mucho Macho went off to explore the gray spectacle of inured inner-city rhythms when there wasn't much left to find. Tim Punter and Neil Dunford had already secured a line of successful singles, almost all of them collected here, and the world was not kind to their neutered big beat, be it in the Bentley Rhythm Ace ripoff "Rockley Sands" or the orderly squeaks of "Rap Is Really Changing." This was clearly more than an ill-timed arrival. The duo is aware of the mechanics of hip-hop archetypes and can swerve around them with a fine, glazed-off perspective. It's the way the LP surrenders to its own outdated fusion of dreary dub and bad Lionrock records that scribbles off into the territory of banal. Large bass and inconsequential samples help nobody, and only the creepy, pre-Surrender house carcasses like "You Will Burn" contradict the theory that the borough of big beat was clearly strip-mined by 1998 and anything short of revolutionary was, at heart, gratuitous.

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