Saturday, September 8, 2007

Macka-Chin "LAST" Asian Hip Hop That Doesn't Suck

Yeah, I can't understand a thing these cats are saying but just to prove the universality of this music...I FEEL IT!!! I don't need a translator. This is hip hop!

Macka-Chin is a producer/emcee from Japan. His crew, Nitro Microphone Underground, were signed to Def Jam Japan! If you want, you can think of him as their version of The Rza (underground producer and emcee who got snapped up and put on by a major label) and Nitro Microphone Underground as Japan's Wu Tang. They were the first Japanese hip hop group to achieve national success without having to go Pop.

Fans of Massive Attack are gonna feel the layered beats and samples on "Last." The production is unabashedly left field but the drums bump really hard. Macka sometimes strays into electronica to mixed results. His strength lies in the darker, ambient, soundscapes, not the four-four thump of dance music.

Some of his best instrumental tracks are sadly, truncated, leaving the listener wishing that he would carry the songs out and develop the themes to some sort of conclusion. "Meet In The Shinto Shrine" stands shoulder to shoulder with any ambient track released by Irresistible Force but lasts less than a minute and a half. The dusty beat workout of "Universal Gravitation" is another track that begs for an extension.

Despite these minor complaints the best tracks on "Last" lift it up into a very pleasurable experience. "Firm Ground" and "Diver" are standout tracks. I'd love to hear more from this entire crew.

Pick up the album here.

Download "Firm Ground"
Download "Diver"
Download "Meet In The Shinto Shrine"

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