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Built From Scratch
is the follow-up to the X-Ecutioners' revolutionary debut LP which back in 1997 re-established the role of the DJ in contemporary hip-hop. The trio reinforced their status as some of the world's best turntablists, and also as erudite producers in their own right. It's been five years since that project hit the streets, but their long awaited follow up is well worth the wait. It's bigger, badder and even more technically on point than it's predecessor, weighing in at twenty tracks, all intricately constructed from scratches, skits, beat-juggles, flares and fades, cuts, pitch-plays, studio trickery and live drums and guitar (played by the DJ's).
MC performances come courtesy of MOP, Kool G Rap, Large Professor and Pharoahe Monch and there are DJ collabs with Premier, Dan The Automator, the Beat Junkies and Triple Threat, as well as an unlikely but successful pairing with Mike Shinoda and Mr Hahn of Linkin Park fame.
It's a quality document, with old and nu skool references liberally scattered throughout (check the updates of Marley Marl's "Marley Scratch", Whiz Kid's "Play That Beat Mr DJ" and Tom Tom Clubs "Genius Of Love"), guitar-driven headbangers like "Let It Bang" and retro-electro like "Feel The Bass". A must. --Paul Sullivan