Alec Empire & El-P

Alec Empire & El-P

Shards of Pol Pottery: The 2001 Remixes

Digital Hardcore

Now this is a collaboration I wasn’t expecting, but was sure as hell excited to hear. The “Destroyer” himself, Alec Empire, once again tears back to his hip-hop roots by bringing along one of the most fiery, talented MC/producers of today, El-P. The former Company Flow mastermind spits out verses so vehemently and fluidly, it’s almost as if he were possessed by both old school Rakim and Zack De La Rocha simultaneously. If you can’t understand, the a cappella mix is proof positive of this man’s skills.

But I was quite disappointed to see that it was only one track that was getting the digital re-works. With 12 remixes, it would seem like overkill. But Alec Empire knows better, having been a veteran of DATs, samplers, and drum machines for several years now. Moving from instrumental to vocal track back to instrumental, Alec Empire wisely and consistently rewires a track with such a distinguishable synth line. A major stumble was lowering El-P’s voice on a couple of the mixes, but it still can’t take away from the original fire of his lyrics and delivery. Shards is hip-hop for the hardcore kids and rivetheads, but with El-P on the mic and Empire on the boards, it provides more than enough street cred to crossover all of these genres.

Digital Hardcore Records, 231 East Fifth Street, Suite A, New York, NY 10003; http://www.digitalhardcore.com

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