Wu-Tang: Chamber Music

By: Dennis Cook

Nah, this ain't the 37th Chamber or anything like it but Chamber Music (released June 16 on Koch Records) is a slight return to form for the arguable mastermind of the Wu sound, RZA. Packed with chop-socky soundbites, spoken word musing and fairly on-point mic wrecking, Chamber Music is embedded in the live instrumentation of NYC's The Revelations, who provide the raw material for RZA to rework. Like most good hip-hop, this is a skill exercise by all involved and the band keeps things fresh simply by avoiding the usual sampling pitfalls. We also get a straight up slow jam ("I Wish You Were Here") and the return of some decent posse cuts, which were a major part of the Wu's early appeal. The MC list includes Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Inspektah Deck, U-God and special guests Masta Ace, Kool G Rap, Sadat X and M.O.P., and most drop at least a couple memorable/quotable word nuggets. It's a quality assortment of talents and though a brief set it all flows and flips with renewed energy while still honoring the Wu-Tang's rich history.

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[Published on: 8/10/09]

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