1/ Intime (Rammellzee,Laswell) 1.11 Rammellzee 2/ Conspiracies (Thornton,Matlin,Laswell) 4.22 Kool Keith and Kut Masta Kurt 3/ Rodent Robots (Freeman,Garcia) 1.32 Extrakd and Eddie Def 4/ Burnin' (Drayton,Laswell,Showard) 4.36 Flavor Flav, phonosycographDISK and DXT 5/ Who Wakes the Rooster? (Freeman,Garcia) 1.19 Extrakd and Eddie Def 6/ This Morning (Smythe,Smith,Smith) 3.57 Juggaknots feat. Breeze & Queen Heroine 7/ No Guts No Galaxy (Rammellzee,Laswell) 4.47 Rammellzee and phonosycographDISK 8/ Temple of the Mental (Reed,Laswell) 6.09 Killah Priest 9/ All That Future (Carson,Laswell) 5.38 Lori Carson and Bernie Worrell 10/ My Style Is I Ain't Got No Style (Furlow,Laswell) 4.54 Nature Boy Jim Kelly 11/ Snipers for Biters (Freeman,Garcia) 1.46 Extrakd and Eddie Def 12/ Checkpoint 0.1 (Harding) 3.54 Scotty Hard, Elwood and Ted Parsons 13/ Mind Drift (Taylor,Laswell) 6.06 Ahlill the Transcending Soldier and Alicia Blue 14/ Life Itself (Hassan,Laswell) 3.26 The Ghetto Prophets and DXT 15/ Flow (Smith,Laswell) 3.53 Alicia Blue 16/ Freestyle Journal (Taylor,Laswell) 4.54 Ahlill the Transcending Soldier, phonosycographDISK and "Bigfoot" Brailey 17/ Hisstory (Rammellzee,Laswell) 3.52 Rammellzee Recorded and mixed at Orange Music Sound Studios, West Orange, NJ and at Greenpoint Studios, Brooklyn, NY Additional recording and mixing at Greene Street Recording, NYC, Ozone Studios, NYC and Gonervill Studios, Oakland, CA Engineering: Robert Musso, Scott Harding, Vassos & Paul Assistants: Zach Prewitt, Prince Strickland III Production: Bill Laswell, Scotty Hard, Eddie Def, DXT, Hideo Tanaka, Mr. Len (Company Flow), Extrakd, Dark Matter and Abu El Mustafa Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studios, NYC Material Design: John Brown Axiom: Bill Murphy Legal: Peter Shukat Meta: Janet Rienstra Invasion: Steven Saporta Hyperrealization: Jeff Spirer Above the Law: Chris BlackwellBill Laswell (1,2,4,7-10,13-17): beats, bass, keyboards, samples; Rammellzee (1,7,17): rap; Kool Keith (2): rap; Kut Master Kurt (2): turntables; Extraktd and Eddie Def (3,5,11): all sounds; Flavor Flav (4): rap; DXT (4,14): turntables, keyboards; phonosycographDISK (4,7,16): turntables; Juggaknots (6): rap, vocals, beats; Killah Priest (8): rap; Lori Carson (9): vocals; Bernie Worrell (9): keyboards; Nature Boy Jim Kelly (10): rap; Ted Parsons (11): drums; Scotty Hard and Elwood (11): sounds, beats; Alicia Blue (13,15): vocals; Ahlill the Transcending Soldier (13): rap; The Ghetto Prophets (14): rap; Jerome "Bigfott" Brailey (16): drums.
1999 - Axiom/Palm Pics./Ryko (USA), PALMLP 2019-1 (2x12") 1999 - Axiom/Palm Pics./Ryko (USA), PALMCD 2019-2 (CD) 1999 - Palm Pics/Ryko (Japan), VACK 1169 (CD)
Andrew Duke (courtesy of the Cognition website)
Things sure have changed since Material (then a trio consisting of bassist/producer Bill Laswell, drummer Fred Maher and keyboardist Michael Beinhorn) released its first EP of mildly abrasive experimental art-funk in 1979. These days Beinhorn and Maher are out of the picture, and Material is just a name that Laswell gives once and a while to one of his many collaborative projects. This time out, Material is Laswell and a motley crew of rappers and DJs. The disc package is emblazoned with the defiant slogan "Rapping is still an art, " which tends to raise one's expectations somewhat. Those expectations are more or less borne out, too. As is his wont, Laswell provides instrumental settings that are dark, rhyhmically complex and bone-shakingly bass-heavy; on top of his foundational beats there are expert turntable manipulation from the likes of DXT (known to old school aficionados as Grandmaster D.ST) and phonosycographDISK, rapping by Ramm Ell Zee, Scotty Hard, Killah Priest, Flavor Flav and others, and even a cameo appearance by wispy-voiced art-pop singer Lori Carson (whose "All That Future, " a collaboration with funky keyboard legend Bernie Worrell, turns out to be one of the album's highlights). Flavor Flav is his typical off-the-wall self on "Burnin'", while Killah Priest gets arrythmically serious on the six-minute recitation "Temple of the Mental." Alicia Blue provides the aptly titled "Flo w, " and Kool Keith weighs in with "Conspiracies, " a lyrical theme that keeps returning throughout the album. The only weak point on the album comes, unfortunately, at the very end, with Ramm Ell Zee's obnoxious and stupid "Hisstory." Highly recommended overall.
Rick Anderson (courtesy of the All Music Guide by way of the Get Music website)
Material's stuff is always interesting. And, like other albums Bill Laswell has worked on that I've heard, this album has its moments of stunning perfection and a couple of tracks that either don't seem to belong or are just plain bad. This album is 90% excellent, with deeply satisfying beats and top notch rapping. Track 9 is the "out of place" track. Coming off an essentially acapella Killah Priest track talking about the street life, we have a sweet female voice singing about summer days and sleeping in the grass. Hey Bill! She ain't rappin. The bad track comes right after this, with Nature Boy just making a lot of noise. All in all, this album is great because it's Bill Laswell, a great experimenter, working with some really fantastic artists. Five stars with those two tracks removed. Definitely worth getting, for hip hop and Material fans alike.
courtesy of the All Music Guide by way of the Amazon.com website