“New school is cool but they don’t come close” rhymes Edan in one of his famous, brain-melting, live accapella routines. It’s a conclusion that was reaffirmed in my mind numerous times whilst listening to The Fabreeze Brothers LP over the last month. The mission statement to make the above apparent on this record is clear. Between Phill’s days as a Rap Sheet columnist and sample broker at the fabled Roosevelt Hotel record shows in the 90’s and Paul Nice’s sagacious mix-crafting skills, this LP is a masterclass in breakbeats and the tough rhymes they demand; the studio sessions and brainstorming behind which would make for some great fly-on-the-wall reading/viewing.
“Power Man and Iron Fist” has Phill hot on the heels of drums tumbling over themselves to get out the speaker. Feverish bongos possess “Audobahn”. “Golden Crown” is a smash-and-grab crate digging thriller; a coalescence of and spiritual successor to Phill’s “Neva Stop Diggin’” and featured guest Oxygen’s “Gone Diggin’”. And holy shit, Paten Locke is on here too. Then there is “How To Cut And Paste”, a truncated résumé of Paul Nice’s mix-making abilities in case any listeners were unfamiliar with his vast discography in the art form. This record is laden with effects, cutting, and scratching that’ll leave you wanting to itch. Yeah, that whole vibe is here. Paul Nice judo-flips samples from what sounds like Zulu Nation Anniversary jams with Wu Xia horn flourishes and exploitation bass licks and who-knows-what-else into the present day for Phill to rhyme over. And as close as these rhymes come to approaching ludicrous-speed, they never suffer from a lack of clarity. This is testament to Phill’s stout delivery; a quality that may have pushed him off the mic towards production in the early 90’s after the arrival of the grimy new-wave, but one that pays dividends now. And how about that album host? Perhaps one of the most entertaining since the fembot on Midnight Marauders.
You can catch Phill Most Chill all over the shop right now; twitter / facebook / and check his bandcamp for those World Of Beats era ‘Archaeologist Classics’ mixtapes. Paul Nice too; twitter / facebook. Also, tune in on Sunday nights for the Grown Man Rap Show hosted by Paul Nice and DJ Toast.