Chopped & Screwed 2
Due to the Bangin response 'Chopped and Screwed - Volume 2' has received from Burnt Sugar CD purchasers as a give-away item, B.S.I.llc has decided to re-issue this limited-edition release exclusively on CD Baby for purchase!! Buy It Now....Smile About That Decision Later!! A few words on Chopped & Screwed's behalf: Dave Stelfox, critic for The Wire, says in the April 2007 issue about Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber's Volume 2 - Chopped and Screwed, 'Eclectic and experimental, yet taut and surefooted, it's a delicate and wonderfully realised balancing act embracing jazz, hiphop, soul, rock, and blues that never loses grip of it's groove. Despite owing absolutely nothing to Houston, Texas's lazy and hazy remixing, Chopped & Screwed Volume Two is no disappointment. Most notable amongst it's 18 tracks are three laptop compositions from Black Body Radiation, Tate's own movie about a futuristic 'New York populated by various Muslim sects and mystic extraterrestials'. Parred down and mechanical, they lack the visceral thrills of Burnt Sugar's live instrumental work, yet the same patiently measured tensions are at play, creating an ominous and eerie dystopian vision. However, the best is kept until last, with Butch Morris himself making a closing appearance. Discordant as the ribbons (the Burnt Sugar horn section) blows over the rolling basslines of 'Butch Vs the Wretches' may be, their ease and fluidity make it clear that the veteran cornet player is both perfectly at home and perfectly in tune with his collaborators.' As Ice Cube would say....'It's a Good Day!' Brian Hull for okayplayer.com gives Chopped & Screwed Three & a Half Afros ( out of Four ) and says... It's funny to think of Burnt Sugar releasing remix albums. It is said they never play the same thing once, in effect making remixing the rule, not the exception. Still, the ambling themes presented here create a strong argument for documenting what would better be termed evolution. Chopped and Screwed Vol. 2 marches ideas out of the depths and onto virgin land complete with the successes and failures inherent in the adaptation of species. Built around Burnt Sugar's contributions to another Greg Tate creation, Black Body Radiation, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film that collides ancient African religion into Star Trek, Chopped and Screwed demolishes established tracks to pull new life from the flames, like asteroids careening into the atmosphere. As if examining the fossil record, the album must be broken into parts and reassembled. "Ahem Saladin" strings along a familial line of mutated tracks that can be rearranged in dozens of listening patterns. Much of the record progresses in a similar fashion often distancing a theme and it's variation so that musical ideas bubble back up from the primordial ooze. A band this dependent upon improvisation always risks losing nuance in their translation to record. Geography has prevented me from seeing Burnt Sugar live to test this theory, but moments in this record, as in most of their records, feel inaccessible through a set of headphones. Despite extensively listening to Sun Ra, I never understood his claim of "discipline and precision" until seeing live performances in the documentary A Joyful Noise. I suspect sitting in New York's Tonic with Mr. Tate and family on stage would have a similar effect of enlightenment after years of feeling a gravitational tug back to a music I don't always understand. Ultimately it may be impossible to judge this record in a linear fashion. In African drum circles the master drummer counts not linearly from zero to infinity, but circularly from zero back to zero. Burnt Sugar is born out of an African tradition assimilated by a Hendrix obsessed Miles Davis. During the Agharta era, Miles spiraled Michael Henderson's 5-note bass lines to pull improvising musicians into a cohesive orbit with one another. With this collection of remixes Burnt Sugar demonstrates their ability to balance these ancient and futuristic forces. Perhaps not on the interplanetary scale imagined in Black Body Radiation, but instead at a molecular level. Ever circling, chemically altering their surroundings, and if properly stimulated, launching mushroom clouds into the heavens. - Brian Hull Whoop there it is!!!