Side A
1. Lowdeck & Hipsta "Limited Vocab Intro"
2. Cannibal Ox "Straight Off The D.I.C."
3. Anti-Pop Consortium "Fantasy Island"
4. M-Boogie feat. Buckshot "The Real Remix"
5. J-Live "True School Anthem"
6. Micranots w/ Marq Spekt & Stahhr "Virtualistic"
7. Sonic Sum "Paste"
8. Shockwave "This Generation"
9. Black Thought "Hardware"
10. MF Doom "Impostas"
11. Rise & Shine "Confess Your Sins"
12. Heltah Skeltah "Cace Cosa Vixen"
13. Styles Of Beyond "Word Perfect"
14. Creative feat. Freestyle "Networking"
15. Azeem "Garage Opera Music"
16. Mr. Lif "Because They Made It That Way"
Side B
1. Mike Ladd City Winter Intro
2. Tes One "Sound Investments"
3. MF Grimm "Scars And Memories"
4. Spoon "Anti Christ"
5. Writers Block "Situations"
6. Reflection Eternal "African Dreams"
7. Grand Agent "Every 5 Minutes"
8. Push Button Objects feat. Mr Lif & Del "360°"
9. Wu-Tang Clan "Careful"
10. All Natural "The Mic"
11. Chace Infinite "Kinetic Energy"
12. Akbar "Live Long"
13. Roc Raider w/ Wayne O "Burn The Ass"
14. Ty "Tale"
15. Aceyalone "Accepted Eclectic"
16. Saul Williams & Wood "Purple Pigeons"
17. Lowdeck & Ese "Limited Vocab Outro"


Embedded Studio - Two 45 Minute Sets Vol. 5

There were times when I was seriously asking myself if mixtapes like this exist. Cause in spots around here, all you get is some German DJ mixing German stuff, or the Tape Kingz treatment, or some b-boy breaks tapes. And while that is cool, it still had me wondering: where are the tapes with that dope complexity, underground, raw raw hip hop? Cause if I play the records at home, it would be dope to have a tape to rock in the car or in the walkman, with such style on it. Well, to the rescue there's Ese & Hipsta with their "Embedded Studio" tape. Packed full with some of the illest ish out there, this is just answering all my calls and hopes and will not leave that tape systems for now, until the next tape like this happens to drop in my hands.

But we are jumping the gun, are already concluding. Let's first check this record out properly, that starts with Lowdeck and Hipsta's "Limited Vocab Intro". A low bass, hard slicing scratches, as well as voice samples and quick change ups, allow some hard spitting. Very smoothly we are walking into "Straight Off The D.I.C." by Cannibal Ox. The piano is kept playing in the back, that can easily be missed, it nestling in so comfortable. Going into Anti-Pop's "Fantasy Island" is a little less smooth, as it involves turning off the MK II. But the wild bat cries, as well as some background insanity is quickly taking away all thoughts that don't involve being overpowered by this track. Some scratching then takes us to a completely different vibe, with M-Boogie feat. Buckshot's track "The Real", here in the form of the remix, follows next. Hipsta does some looping with it, what he stops before the opening line gets annoying. However, the trick is done with noteworthy safeness and regularity, also when Hip does a double with the record. And we are also glad to note that he uses the dirty version of this track, and not like most other mixtapes the clean versions.

Hip hop's favorite real time teacher, and least favorite to successful releases stories, J-Live comes on next with his "True School Anthem". The transaction into this is harsh, especially when there are too many people talking at the same time for a few seconds. The change into the Micranots' (w/ Marq Spekt and Stahhr) "Virtualistic" is similarly done with edges. The step into Sonic Sum's "Paste" does work better then, due to the easy to put behind something else rumbling bass. The Micranots instrumental is kept around and gives Rob an all new background to rhyme over. Definitely more animated than what was heard on the miraculously dope "The Sanity Annex" album, the talking style of Rob sounds at times rushed to catch up with the beat, without the latter ever getting away though. The energy level is then picked up with Shockwave's "This Generation", before the tape is almost brought to a standstill with the intro to Black Thought's "Hardware" getting an undiluted exposure.

We are moving along to MF Doom's "Impostas" that is sharing space with Thought's track, what results in a mush that sounds like an overexposed picture looks like. It works better when we are progressing to Rise & Shine's "Confess Your Sins", what on the other hand, isn't one of the most impressive tracks. Much better sounding is Heltah Skeltah's "Cace Cosa Vixen", that is built upon a rumbling drum and bass, and a whining violin sound. Smoothly going into Styles Of Beyond's "Word Perfect", we are back on the bouncy tip, that is continued on the dope "Networking" by Creative feat. Freestyle. The step into Azeem's "Garage Opera Music" sounds good, until Freestyle gets turned off rather cruelly. And finally, with 45 minutes being accomplished, we check in on Mr. Lif's "Because They Made It That Way", to find our way to the end of side a.

The side b opens with "Mike Ladd City Winter Intro" that is a spoken word piece, over 'ohm' like humming, only being held back by a not completely fine tuned delivery. The track is still very dope, and makes the anticipation for what is still to come only more impatient. We are staying in NY, with Tes giving us "Sound Investments", that does not step back in intensity and abstractness. This track is kept on for a rather long time, before the tape continues to MF Grimm's "Scars And Memories", and even though these tracks are remarkably different, going from one to the other, is laid down to success. Same can be said about going into Spoon's "Anti Christ", a dope track, complete with synthetic bells and a haunted delivery, and things finally getting maniacal during the choir sample. A piano is the main sound behind Writers Block's "Situations", while a guitar is dominating Reflection Eternal's "African Dream". Things are quietly picking up bouncyness, that is then peaked with Grand Agent's "Every 5 Minutes", and restrained with Push Button Objects feat. Mr Lif and Del and their "360". The break of styles is rather harsh with Wu-Tang's "Careful" coming on, as suddenly things are dark. There's a sound now on here, that doesn't really belong here, as the first few notes of the next track are repetitiously put over Wu's beat. This allows a smooth transaction, but the louder it got, the less well it fitted the Shaolin track. However, once All Natural's "The Mic" is on, you are actually made to ask where Capital D is, as this kid flowing on here, does not sound like D, unless this track is sped up / slowed down and gives us a wrong impression.

Chace Infinite then does "Kinetic Energy", before the vibe drops again to Akbar's "Live Long". It seems to be the way things are done, that tracks change without much ado into the next cut, as we are suddenly listening to Roc Raider w/ Wayne O's "Burn The Ass". Ty's "Tale" is introduced more smoothly as his beat is blend over the other track. So this does negate what has just been said about how things are on this tape. During Ty's track, there's a layer in the background that sounds like the next cut, but it actually belongs to the song we are listening to. Now it wouldn't have been quite possible to mix into Aceyalone's "Accepted Eclectic" from the position we are at, so Ty's track is fading out, before the Fellowship's track comes on, at the same time not giving us much hope for the album that will come and will bear the same title as this track. That's why we rather listen to Saul Williams & Wood's "Purple Pigeons", a track built upon a rather hectic beat, that eventually leads up to Lowdeck and Ese giving us the "Limited Vocab Outro", a cut featuring some neck breaking drums at first, and then a siren like guitar and finishing rhymes, over a number of other beats. What allows us now to conclude that with very few turntable trickery on this tape, you don't buy this for that. And what is unfortunately holding back this tape the most, that at times the continuation are rather rough. The tape eventually succeeds though, with the right, dope and strong selection of happening tracks.

review: tadah the byk

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