Beastie Boys: The Mix Up

By: Pietro C. Truba

The Beastie Boys latest effort, The Mix Up (Capitol) finds the New York trio returning to their punk roots with their first album of entirely new instrumental tracks. Michael Diamond (Mike D), Adam Horowitz (Adrock) and Adam Yauch (MCA) all leave the mic and head back to the drum kit, guitar and bass, respectively, for 12 short funky tracks. Add percussionist Alfredo Ortiz and keyboardist Money Mark and you've got a funk band. There is an overwhelming feeling of a '70s detective movie soundtrack running through the album, and that is a very good thing.

"B For My Name" is like a surrogate child of the Mod Squad and wide-bush skin flicks, and like a great opening scene in a movie, starts the album off on the right foot. The songs are short and sweet, with most clocking in at around three-minutes. The influence of soul-jazz musician Jimmy Smith (the source of "Root Down") is apparent through the middle of the album, as Adrock's heavy fatback jazz guitar and Money Mark's bouncy keys carry many of the songs. "Off The Grid," possibly the best song here, starts off calmly enough, but slowly morphs and crashes full speed ahead with the whole band clicking beautifully.

The Beasties revisit their punk roots on "Suco De Tangerina," with a Clash style dub intro fueled by MCA's bass. Both "Electric Worm" and "Freaky Hijiki" are great jazzy tracks, despite fizzling out with odd endings. MCA's punchy bassline starts out "The Ratcage," which gnaws and scratches through a maze of sound. Fans of the compilation The In Sounds From The Way Out! will thoroughly enjoy the new instrumental material. The album is loose, quick and fun, and perfect with a great pair of headphones, where Ortiz's tiniest percussion tweaks and Adrock's guitar wahs come through crystal clear. While the album has a different feel than In Sounds it's in the same vein. It's good to see the Beastie's keep at instrumentals, including instrumental sets on the current tour. If you're looking for some new funk then this is the album for you.

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[Published on: 7/2/07]

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Comments

DJ Saturday Baxter Tue 7/3/2007 03:21PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

DJ Saturday Baxter

i heard this cd about 3 weeks ago. it is very cool and funky. they are doing a US special tour with this band. the shows are called "gallas". they asking that everyone pimpsout there clothing as much as possible...tux, dress, suits... they do not want anyone dressed like a hippy. no sandles...no cargo shorts...
they sound like they are going to through down a sick party with some nasty funk!

sunnbear star Tue 7/3/2007 03:43PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

sunnbear

Sounds like a Nazi party. Don't wear this! Don't do that!

All Loving Liberal White Guy Wed 7/4/2007 01:47PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

All Loving Liberal White Guy

I've noticed that this album has gotten mixed reviews through a lot of outlets but I'll give it a try. Nothin' wrong with getting people to dress up a certain way at their shows. Just as long as people don't get chided for not wearing normal clothes though. Hasen't anybody been to a pimp and hoes ball?

If you do go to a GWAR show though, it's best to wear all white though because of all the mock body fluids that they throw out over everybody.

phreak89 Wed 7/4/2007 08:29PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

phreak89

it's just a theame thing not a Nazi thing. it's jsut like going to a halloween part and your asked to wear some sort of costume. but like GP said, as long as you don't get kicked out for not wearing thier recmended atire, i don't think it's a big deal. hope to check out the album soon though.

Randle starstarstar Thu 7/5/2007 08:21AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Randle

I enjoyed this album....it reminds me as if MMW were doing a soundtrack for a few Starsky and Hutch episodes. 4th Street Break is very funky, the percussion throughout the album is done rather tastefully. This is a fun album if you haven't checked it out yet--

DJ Saturday Baxter Thu 7/5/2007 09:28AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

DJ Saturday Baxter

sounds like party to me! friday nights, party lights, seems like a party....thank god its friday night, friday night, disco light...yea;;

jr2037 starstarstarstar Fri 7/6/2007 07:28AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

jr2037

Got this album yesterday, reminds me of the instrumental tracks from Ill Communication. Theres a genuine quality to this album, they're not trying to prove anything, just doing their thing. The tracks are great to chill out to, some good melodies, rhythms and bass lines, and none are overly "jammy" (yes thats a negative for me, no offense.)

vida421 starstarstarstarstar Sun 7/15/2007 04:39AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

vida421

If you don't understand why they want people to dress up...hit this hit this web page... http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/magazine/15Style-t.html?_r=2&ref=magazine&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

the mix up is good for altered states...

zzdowz Wed 8/1/2007 11:41AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

zzdowz

The album is sick, a lot of my friends have said they like the instrumental beastie's more than the rapping beasties. Absolutely love the album. Stuck in the cd player for awhile now.