|DJ Excalibah - The Ex Files: Doc. 1 CD [Dat Sound]
In terms of track selection this CD is a great showcase of UK skills and shows that Excalibah has his finger on the pulse. There is the right amount of full tracks as opposed to shout outs and specials, but perhaps the actual mixing and choice of weird effects leaves a little to be desired. Perhaps I would have preferred this to be a compilation as the mix CD idea doesn't really add anything in terms of listenability, technical skill or enjoyment even. This may seem a touch harsh as I really enjoyed the selection, but as there are so many people out there competing for this market segment I feel I wanted a bit more. Never the less Border Crossing's Paul has engineered this so that it sounds really good.
This CD takes its lead from Disorda's Mind The Gap Series and features several exclusives and freestyles from some of the biggest names in the UK game. The biggest names in UK Hip Hop like Jehst, Lewis Parker and SkinnyMan sit comfortably against both old timers like Rodney P and Krispy as well as a wealth of new talent like, JTWR, Ironbridge and Ricochet Klashnekoff.
The CD starts off with some answer phone message and some airplane taking off sound which is too loud and too long. The into is really just a series of shout outs and we are quickly into Shameless' Bring You Closer with a re-voxed intro. This is heavy marching music which lacks a bit of funk in the flows. Broke 'n' English deliver an exclusive over a laidback harpsichord. JTWR continues the easy vibe before Cappo steps up with the first of the Dubstate tracks and repps Notts hard with his skills and gets in a few Excalibah namechecks.
The Foreign Beggars and associated posse collabo for Getaway, a downbeat affair, but a track that demonstrates why their Asylim Speakers went down so well. The tracks I don't mention are most likely known to you, but Zebra Traffic's Diversion Tactics Geographitti is a nice, but simply arranged track with a Showbiz and AG feel which is worth the inclusion. MSI & Aslylm drop a particularly nice freestyle and I for one am waiting in anticipation of their new LP which I'm informed is in production. The Planets are on point as always with their lyrically on point Pick Up A Book. Conspicious The Coroner follows with his tale of Sweet Love with its lovely horns.
After the frenetic rapping of Jibba & Verbals, Ironbridge together, Klashnekoff drops a free over the In Da Club beat. Tracks just keep coming and this feels like a value packed release which your walkman will need Duracell for. Big names Like SkinnyMan, Life (from Phi Life Cypher) and Lewis Parker are saved for the end of the CD which finally finishes off with Skank Out from Sincere.
The cover artwork by Jan Hart Creative is dark with the theme being a secret filing cabinet full of Excalibah's records using staged photography by Jake Green.
Although this isn't Excalibah's first mix CD (he did one for a HHC covermount, a mix for a Big Dada compilation and more recently a 1 Xtra CD), apparently this CD is the first in a series and I for one will be looking out for the next releases.
Look out for Excalibah bringing this experience to a live venue near you. Past venues include: Ghyryme - Reading, C'mon Feet - Manchester, and many other club nights. Tales From The Legend airs on 1Xtra every Thursday from 10pm (www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra).
2000 & Beyond