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X-ecutioners - x-pressions


Music review

The X-ecutioners (a.k.a. the X-Men before Marvel Comics threatened litigation) are 4 DJs, 8 turntables, a handful of microphones, and so much vision it makes me dizzy. The X-ecutioners make the best of Grand Master Flash's original turntable musings look like the awkward works of a Grandfather Flash. That is to say, the X-ecutioners return mixing and scratching to center stage.

A third of the 22 tracks on x-pressions are hip-hop MC/DJ songs where the vinyl workings of the X crew float between support and spotlight. Not merely showboating, but rather adding another layer to vocal tracks, the X-ecutioners demonstrate the rare ability to both solo and play a backup role. The vocal tracks, with the exception of "Turntabilist Anthem", "Poetry in Motion", and "Musica Negra" are not as strong as the DJcentric constructions.

The X-ecutioners reach levels of transcendence as a group with the turntable tracks "Get Started", "The Countdown", and "Mad Flava". It's on these tracks that they seem most like a group with a cohesive vision exploring new territories and less like a bunch of talented individuals demonstrating their skills.

Even the solo tracks are collaborations of sorts between group members, often with one on the tables and another producing and mixing. Still, I think it is in the group dynamic that their collaborative constructions are most interesting and enlightening. There is an energy in the group tracks which makes them more exciting than the others on the album.

On "Turntabilist Anthem", "Poetry in Motion", and "Musica Negra" we are offered real insight into what it's like on the inside of the NYC hip-hop scene, and what it means to be black making music in the white world of business exec rap.

The X-ecutioners do a damn fine job of balancing the interesting and more heady with the tracks that make your ass move and your head bounce. And as MC Hale the Armageddon eloquently illustrates in "Poetry in Motion" the X-ecutioners are "dedicated to taking hip-hop to a higher plain, never allowing it to fall victim to the corrupt system, defin(ing) this (hip-hop) culture."

Tags : psychedelic
Rating : Teen - Drugs
Posted on: 2001-03-05 00:00:00