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X-Cuse Me! featuring Kain
Molecule featuring Grazzhoppa
Shuffle-O-One
The Search featuring MOS
Massive
Soul Juggling
Electric Barbarian
Molecule
I figured the guys from Electric Barbarian would give me a decent roadmap to guide me to the essential crossroads of their music, so I could write some real impressive liner notes about the scales and patterns these freaks use for their music. But they just gave me the record. Oh, yeah, there were some funny smiles too.

Mmm. I thought I knew a little bit about hiphop, about jazz, about that big mistake many rappers make thinking that hiphop could be something like bebop, while in fact the only chance hiphop ever had of sounding anything like jazz was at some fine New York Underground Moments Of Cool. But then what the fuck were these Barbarians up to? O, don’t get me wrong: I recognised some stuff. The instruments, a few scary beats, a legendary voice rhyming about things to come, but that was it.
Okay. I do know a few things about ‘jazzy hiphop’. And it’s dead. Even in New York loosing your cool is the hip thing to do in the underground.
Yes, yes, hold your horses. This is all just a temporary congestion in the majestic evolution of beats & rhymes, but while you’re all watching your favourite dj’s giving up soul for soundeffects I took a chance and sank into something smooth.
Cause these Electric Barbarians sound smooth. Cool and calm like gangsters in a black & white movie (You don’t wanna fuck with that cliché. No really. You don’t.), warm like a bathtub full of freshly poured blood, and hot at the same time. Hot as a shot of bourbon on an empty stomach? No. I’m sorry. I’ve got to stay honest about this stuff. Hot as that 16 year old booty that lives across town, that piece of ass you know you cannot touch, so all you can do is spill your horny notes. On a sidewalk perhaps, wearing a hat, while it’s raining. When all of a sudden someone or something joins in, whispering.
You ever been whispered to in a dark alley by a thing that might have been a monster, but could have been an angry god too, disguised as the wino from hell? Did it make you wonder about the company you’re keeping? I mean: what were you doing in that alley in the first place, huh? Looking for some barbarian entertainment? And don’t these whispers haunt you like your biggest childhood nightmare? Heh. Wanna know how they sound on music? O, come on, you know you do. No, there’s no comforting explanation for these whispers. I would be lying now, wouldn’t I, if I’d call them ‘urban’ or ‘jazz’ or ‘hiphop’ or ‘fusion’. And you want the truth. The truth and the scare.
Well, all right then. I cannot put my finger on this stuff. I cannot classify this music. It’s your problem now. Deal with it!


Nanne Tepper
February 2004