New Flesh

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Understanding Review

by Nic Kincaid

New Flesh's futuristic second full-length features an all-star cast of underground MCs, including Roots Manuva, Ty, Beans (Anti-Pop Consortium), and Gift of Gab (Blackalicious) backing up ├╗ber producer Part 2 (aka Keith Hopewell) and lyricists Toastie Tailor and Juice Aleem. Well representing the freshness emerging from the often underpraised U.K. hip-hop scene, the ever-progressive Big Dada label once again backs up its reputation as a supporter of innovators and leads the British invasion of the hip-hop movement back over the Atlantic with cosmopolitan renovations made. With an anything-goes attitude toward musical styles employed, Understanding uses drum'n'bass, hip-hop, dancehall, U.K. garage, soul, and R&B to create a mainstream-sounding experimental record, a paradoxical musical conquest comparable to the plight of Outkast over the last few outings. Part 2's production here is worth the price of admission alone, a job performance record that led to remix work for Saul Williams and Roots Manuva.

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