The Bad Christmas EP
production: chainsaw rich
year of release: 2004
 
 
 
 
tracklisting
1. Santa Claus Is Coming
2. Chainsaw Massacre
3. Sit Back And Relax
4. Christmas Eve
5. Narrow Chimney
6. Bad Santa I
7. Bad Santa II
Around November 26th, a strange phenomenon happens: half the people suddenly have this inane smile on their face, while the other half's left eye starts to twitch very rapidly and randomly. And that can only mean one thing: Christmas is around the corner. The good people of Villa Magica are probably amongst the smiling bunch, even though you cannot believe they are too happy about most Christmas-y things. But they get to release another record, and that will make 'em smile wider than a yellow circle.
Amongst this year's releases, there's the turntablism effort of Chainsaw Rich, called "The Bad Christmas EP". And just like in the traditions of all the other Villa Magica releases the songs might be based on a Christmas tune, but don't be surprised if more in spirit than in actual melodies and sounds. So there's very little of it in "Santa Clause Is Coming" and on "Narrow Chimney" you gotta listen closely, because the whole tune is actually happening behind a move conversation sample.
You also need to pay close attention to hear the transition from "Santa Claus Is Coming" into "Chainsaw Massacre". The two really belong together and offer somewhat the highlight of this quick EP. Because we get the proper turntable trickery, mixed with interesting sounds and just a good overall humor too. And so when Santa Claus is coming, you hope he's not leaving any stains…on the carpet…from the dirty shoes… But even here it's "Chainsaw Massacre" that's a little more interesting, as hard keyboard sounds are gnawing themselves through your panic room, before Rich starts to cut up a horn and showing some serious skills as a DJ. You can only hope he's as good with the butcher knife, because then your death will be at least quick and painless.
By the time "Sit Back And Relax" you start to feel a lot of unrest. While the song is a decent beat with a little bit of turntable tricks over it, you'd find this rather thrilling as an interlude in a rap album or as a moment on a mixtape actually doing mixing. But here it falls pray to the imminent problem of most turntable music: it sounds good, however also a little clumsy and simple. The same but different is the problem with "Christmas Eve". Here we cannot even hear much turntablism and the real quality lies is in the fact that there's nothing really going on. This is one of those movie songs that just pushes your buttons for you to get ready to jump out your seat. Especially as there's weird sounds in the background, a piano crashing at some point and all is rather unsettling and haunting. It would have been very fun if this song would have been called "Sit Back And Relax", because that's exactly what you cannot. Now, as little this is, as good this actually is.
Throughout the record you get French dialogue bites, so again during "Bad Santa I" which features a really nice sample, a proper drum and minus the French blah blah would actually be a proper song for some dude to rhyme over. Voice samples - including some rated R ones - finish the EP on "Bad Santa II". Although not quite yet. You also get a bunch of sound frazzles that you can scratch up with your CD scratch machine.
Speaking of scratching: there's not much you can just scratch with a chainsaw. That thing cuts and does nothing as wimpy as scratches. Mr. Rich however does scratch and ever so often he's doing that rather good. Those guys with the itching eye might want to scratch that sore spot, and dare to listen to this. Because there's not much 'jingle bells' about it, but rather a big middle finger and slap in the face of everybody with that inane smile.
review: tadah
 
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