Sunday, December 07, 2003

Fear Is The Mind Killer

Rayzd: Fear is The Mind Killer.

In the beginning was The Word.

Warning: Intelligent Lyrics. Lyrical dexterity to make Eminem sound tongue-tied. G, I really didn’t bargain on a profound thinker, but here he comes, movin’ to the beat, speakin’ in tongues. U can bet UR bo2m $ the text-messaging teens don’t give a sh^t about language. Try texting “Ludwig Wittgenstein” and stay fashionable. G even drops “verisimilitude” into the verbal mix.

Then came The Beat.

The Beat Goes On… Polyrythmically paradiddling daddy-o Buddy Rich on the sticks; daughter Cathy, drunk and 12.5 years old, swingin’ like a vet on lead vocals.

The Beat Goes On… Ginsberg’s angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.

The Beat Goes On… Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzband's marijuana, hipsters, peace & junk & drums!

The Beat Goes On... The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..

The Beat Goes On… Jack Kerouac genuflecting at the feet of Slim Gaillard during Groove Juice Special in some subterranean San Francisco jazz joint. Hit that Jive, Jack.

The Beat Goes On… Someone flicks a switch and suddenly I’m in a club in Montemarte discussing Derrida, impressing the chicks with a working knowledge of French Symbolism, drinking Absinthe and smoking jazz cigarettes while some impromptu bebop combo on a cartographic tip valiantly attempts to map the mysterious contours of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

The Beat Stops. Dead... Cowell & Fuller's grim telegenic progeny monopolise the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Soulless pap pre-packaged by accountants, produced by robots and purchased by media-lobotomized zombies.

Welcome to The Now Generation : Proponents of perpetual present. Speed freaks, intoxicated amnesiacs, Benzedrine buzzers, adrenaline junkies. Senseless speed annihilating memory, annihilating distance, annihilating past, present and future. G-Clef da Mad Komposa watches the kids on their freeway glide. Cruisin’ down the infinite highway. Past the point of no return. Going nowhere. Fast.

To The Now Generation, the amnesiac hordes, their last heartbeat is history and yesterday is anachronistic antiquity. “Back to the source” means last year. Old school is the nanosecond before Now. The past is sampled, recycled and assimilated into the New without a flicker of recognition from the amnesia kids.

Let’s go back, way back.... and when I say “old” I mean this was the school Methuselah used to play hookey from. Louis, Cab and co. were rapping over swing beats long before Dr. Dre enrolled for pre-med , back before Snoop Dog was a pup, way before Ol’ Dirty was a glint in poppa Bastard’s eye. “Imitation is the sincerest form of plagiarism, homeyz” jokes some sinister Jim Carrey doppelgangbanger in his inimitable Cab Calloway meets Jerry Lewis persona non gratification of the Kyoto Protocolonic irrigation. Solid gone, G’s been blowin’ his horn since before the Now Generation were born. He’s always packin’ heat; hardwired to the street; keepin’ his shit sweet; tight to the beat.

The Beat Is Back.... Rayzde’s polyrhythmic beat alchemy: Hip-hop, drum & bass, jazz and swing flavours weave around eachother like suspicious women talking about the same punk. RZA jamming with Illinois Jacquet. Profoundly cinematic: One day Abel Ferrara or Jim Jarmusch is gonna get hip to the Rayzde tip. King of New York meets Ghost Dog. Rayzde’s soundtracks echo the languorous malevolence of Ferrara favourite Schooly D’s lean gangsta rap creations and the dense, multi-layered soundscapes of the Wu-Tang Clan are an obvious influence but there’s so much more in the mix. Dig that hipster vibe. These cats cut up, fold-in and subvert genres like Bill Burroughs on Benzedrine. Gangsta cool spliced with the ghost of swing past and a scintilla of Sun Ra’s extra-terrestrial mysticism. Frank White crawling like a vampire through these suburban streets, making love to these women, languid and bittersweet. Karen Carpenter lamenting Rainy Days and Mondays just like old times.

Here, There and Everywhere : Master magician G makes Paul McCartney sound hip. Hell, G could probably make Joe McCarthy sound hip. Prestidigitational perfection.

Thugbrat : Taut, dynamic reworking of one of New Yalloppin’ City’s finest tracks.
Your Mind: Jakineko’s virtuoso vocals, G-Clef’s alto and Mike Seropyan’s tenor do battle over a drum and bass backing; everybody wins.

I Know You Love Me: Hip-Hoperatic. Surreal and haunting tale of unrequited passion.

Nobody Knows : Peter Hartmann handles the vocal duties on another angst-ridden tale of lost love. G-Clef and Metatron trade rhymes: Ninja assassins exchanging blows to the solar plexus over Still Dre’s looped backing track.

We : Ghetto Swing Extreme reloaded. Sublime fusion of jazz and hip-hop. Gang Starr and Guru’s Jazzmatazz project strived to segue seamlessly between jazz and rap but G and his crew make this sh^t seem effortless.

I’m Beginning to See the Light : Dark, claustrophobic reading of Ellington’s swing standard. Voices and samples drop in and out like disembodied spirits: The Avaricious, the Wrathful and the Sullen live and direct from The Fifth Circle of Hell.

You and Whose Army : Radiohead get the Rayzd treatment.

Like Me : G’s laconic, propulsive rap, redolent of Rakim, complements Peter’s ethereal vocal perfectly.

Lost in a Dream: Lyrical, languid and lovely. Beautiful vocal from Jaki. G-Clef’s alto and tenor sax work is superb and Lord Sledge’s trumpet and Peter’s acoustic bass give this track an intimate, organic small combo sound.

Apparition : The ghost of Duke Ellington introduces this wonderful track. G and Pete take care of business delivering a bottom end heavy-mix of experimental electronics and electric bass. Jaki brings another great vocal to the table while Metatron and G-Clef rap around each other like mirror image matadors making moves with no bull. The track eventually careers off into improvisation and distortion.

Theme from Dune: Eno gets the Rayzd workover.

Toxic culture shock syndrome for Now Generation brats addicted to the pop pap pusher’s placebo: Rayzd are the real deal. Creative, independent music with integrity lovingly crafted by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.

FITMK : Masterpiece. F**k fear. Open your mind.

eugene ionesco