|Philly Whizz & DJ Rasp - Up The Wizards Sleeve LP [Go Wise]
The LP gets going with the usual Intro which comes in two parts. The first half features some funky Blackpool beach / Wurlitzer organ backing and plenty of tasty cuts from Rasp, before it changes up and gets a bit more traditional. The first full track, The Clones is a right belter which makes use of a great guitar sample and has great rocking feel. Philly gets busy telling us all about how society is going crazy and pointing out many of the madnesses that we see all around us and take for granted.
Luv Or Lust is a comedy rap where Philly talks about picking up a girl late at night and taking her back to his flat and trying on his techniques to try and get into her panties. There is a relaxing and slightly jazzy touch to the production from a double bass bassline to scat pianos. Westwood Don't Jiggy Me Tape was previously released and like Dave The Ruf's previous Westwood Is A Twat gained underground plaudits as everyone can sympathise with the sentiments expressed here.
Who's Number 1 has an urgency of one of Eminem's more jiggy tracks. The bumping beat is accompanied with some opening female vocals before Philly lets off his disappointment and loathing of modern celebrities, most of whom don't really have any special skills to offer. David Blaine gets a dressing down as well as Lesley Ash for her stupid pout lips fuck up and those losers whose only aim in life is to become famous. Curtains Got Beef has also previously seen the light of day and is one of those great beat jacking efforts which generally seem to come off quite humorously when done by the British. Here Phil takes Obie Trice's Teeth track and flips it with his own crass delivery and gives everyone a whole bunch of laughs in the process.
This Job is one of the standout tracks on the LP where Philly describes in his usual fun poking way the boring drudgery of nine to fiving it every day of your life. The production is suitably downbeat and at a slower pace. Philly's great scouse accent and colloquialisms really adds a lot to the vibe sound of this whole piece. Police sirens kick off Is Right which has a particularly clubby feel which suits that lyrical content of Philly's as he describes trying to go out on the piss with only a modicum of money. As the Friday night progresses he states how fights can break out and then gets deeper as he explores the reasons for this escapism which could be social deprivation, but all along Philly keeps it humourous and easy to listen to without becoming depressing.
Again a bouncy beat is the backing for the slightly mad Mams Yer Dad track which also features Filthy Rich on the mic who adds a great flow and bit of vocal variety into the mix. This is all about inbred nuttiness and is generally a right laugh. Students R Avin A Laff continues in the same vein as Philly shouts out all the students who have been able to skive and have their three year holidays paid for by someone else's work. Really Philly is a bit jealous of their lifestyle and who wouldn't want to be able to get up at lunchtime and goes straight down the students union for cheap beer.
Can't See You is one of the obligatory love songs and this one touches on Philly's emotions after he has just been dumped by his girlfriend. Despite saying that he won't look back I think this track is evidence that he is hurting. Regardless, the track breaks down the progression of the relationship and how the relationship fell to pieces. Gospel singers kick off the very slow Full Steam Ahead as they sing 'god is making eyes at me' which also features fellow Shahkti member Ashlar the Schitzo on the mic. This track is particularly soporific as it deals with the aftermath of the aforementioned break up and trying to start if off with someone new, but perhaps also the consequences of rejection.
The penultimate track Weekend Supastars gets busy with a super funky sample and composition which immediately got my head bobbing. As you would guess the story behind the track is about an acquaintance who saves up the small amount of money he ears through the week, simply to spunk it off at the weekend. This guy is trapped into living a bit of a lie as he is putting on a show and ultimately this showing off and charlie will bring him down with a bump. The LP rounds off with Check The Spirit a track on which Philly goes mental spitting at double sped over an easygoing piano beat which leads to an uneasy union between the different elements, but does show off Philly's lyrical dexterity, but for me is just a touch too manic to be kept up for the entire length of the track.
On the design front I thought the sleeve design didn't do Philly and Rasp justice, the main cover picture being a bit bland and unexciting, but maybe that is the point as it depicts what the guys are struggling to break out of - boredom and monotony of the JSA and the depravation that brings. Additionally, on the CD version of the release the font design and size makes it hard to read the track names and production credits. Regardless, these guys are learning as they go along and are getting their stuff out to the people on a complete shoestring budget and they have to be commended for that.
Overall the 14 track LP is full to the brim with cutting wit, clever piss taking and funky beats. Philly's Liverpool accent is different apparently he is big things on his manor.
2000 & Beyond