Music

Evil Nine: You Can Be Special Too

Dominic Umile

More charged and exciting than evil or nine, this DJ/producer duo makes good on party promises and even invites Aesop Rock to stop by.


Evil Nine

You Can Be Special Too

Label: Marine Parade Music
US Release Date: 2005-03-29
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon affiliate
Amazon
iTunes

Sometimes being evil is tougher than it sounds. Society has placed rather demanding identifiers on what is, in fact evil and what clearly is not. Evil is a relative term. Some might say that a country's presidential administration and its associated underlings can often be considered "evil" even if the "mandate" depicts otherwise, according to the head of the aforementioned evil administration. Evil Nine is neither nine nor evil, but they get the job done, leaving empty beer cups, overturned tables, and soiled couches in their wake.

On You Can Be Special Too, DJ/producer team Tom Beaufoy and Pat Pardy clears room for 15 party-accessible tracks, pushing hip hop, house, electronica and comical samples for a rather well-rounded throwdown. Beaufoy and Pardy found a place on Adam Freeland's Marine Parade label shortly after they collaborated as a DJ team, their most noteworthy aspect being that they pull influences from all areas to keep their parties fresh and exciting. Evil Nine's reputation has also been forged in remix territory as names like UNKLE and Ils have been given the Beaufoy/Pardy treatment with solid results. The duo has performed behind the decks on a worldwide basis, including UK hotspots The End (West London) as well as Fabric. Their reach on You Can Be Special Too is just as universal, as the album is a key player in living room parties as well as warehouse raves.

For "Crooked", Brooklyn's Aesop Rock rolls over a spacey, malevolent dance beat, making for a particularly memorable and repeat-worthy opening track. Ace rants about the fading city lights, and their preventing him from "getting down". Sure, the Def Juxer has earned a deservedly golden reputation for mind-boggling, fragmented verse and beginning his career by four-tracking in his apartment, but he's obviously not afraid to get down if properly motivated. Echoing his "I'm gettin' the fuck down tonight" sentiment on El-P's Fantastic Damage incantations, he leads the dance floor hysteria that eventually swallows up Beaufoy's and Pardy's compositions.

Evil Nine's production is four star here, prompting even the haters of pulsing house beats to take notice of Special's energy and dizzying effects. "For Lovers Not Fighters" builds slowly to offensive heights in swirling blips that emanate from each channel, eventually birthing the slick, dreamy "Even the Smells", punctuated only by Fidel Kutstro's all-too-short scratching. In mentioning "offensive", the inclusion of "Pearl Shot" may have warranted such a complaint, but Juice Aleem's attempts at lewdness are just that: laughable misguided attempts. "I'll put it in you" actually made it into his first verse, and suggests that the Red Hot Chili Peppers may have had some profound impact on him as a youth. How refreshing. New Flesh For Old's Toastie Taylor tackles emcee duties and sings a melodic chorus over "Restless", a rock-oriented clubber that nears chaos at its end before spinning into screeching distortion and slamming to an abrasive halt.

"Hired Goons" closes the shenanigans off too quickly with a slightly less fiery, albeit melodic jaunt. The abbreviated synth jabs punch in and out, accompanied by occasional changeups in drum breaks, with rolling psychedelic moments that offer a comedown most fitting of the rest of the efforts here. The new and improved mandate: Evil Nine would make for a respectable party nomination.

7

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

Electronic music is one of the broadest-reaching genres by design, and 2017 highlights that as well as any other year on record. These are the 20 best albums.


20. Vitalic - Voyager (Citizen)

Pascal Arbez-Nicolas (a.k.a. Vitalic) made waves in the French Touch electro-house scene with his 2005 debut, OK Cowboy, which had a hard-hitting maximalist sound, but several albums later, Voyager finds him launching into realms beyond at his own speed. The quirky, wallflower vocals and guitar snippets employed throughout Voyager drop a funk that brings to mind WhoMadeWho or Matthew Dear if they had disco-pop injected between their toes. "Levitation" is as pure a slice of dance floor motivation as theoretically possible, a sci-fi gunfight with a cracking house beat sure to please his oldest fans, yet the album-as-form is equally effective in its more contemplative moments, like when Miss Kitten's vocals bring an ethereal dispassion to "Hans Is Driving" to balance out its somber vocoder or the heartfelt cover of "Don't Leave Me Now" by Supertramp. Voyager may infect you with a futuristic form of Saturday Night Fever, but afterwards, it gives you a hearty dose of aural acetaminophen to break it. - Alan Ranta


Keep reading... Show less
Film

Hitchcock, 'Psycho', and '78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene'

Alfred Hitchock and Janet Leigh on the set of Psycho (courtesy of Dogwoof)

"... [Psycho] broke every taboo you could possibly think of, it reinvented the language of film and revolutionised what you could do with a story on a very precise level. It also fundamentally and profoundly changed the ritual of movie going," says 78/52 director, Alexandre O. Philippe.

The title of Alexandre O. Philippe's 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) denotes the 78 set-ups and the 52 cuts across a full week of shooting for Psycho's (1960) famous shower scene. Known for The People vs. George Lucas (2010), The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (2012) and Doc of the Dead (2014), Philippe's exploration of a singular moment is a conversational one, featuring interviews with Walter Murch, Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Danny Elfman, Eli Roth, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Karyn Kusama, Neil Marshall, Richard Stanley and Marli Renfro, body double for Janet Leigh.

Keep reading... Show less

Mary Poppins, Mrs. Gamp, Egyptian deities, a Japanese umbrella spirit, and a supporting cast of hundreds of brollies fill Marion Rankine's lively history.

"What can go up a chimney down but can't go down a chimney up?" Marion Rankine begins her wide-ranging survey of the umbrella and its significance with this riddle. It nicely establishes her theme: just as umbrellas undergo, in the everyday use of them, a transformation, so too looking at this familiar, even forgettable object from multiple perspectives transforms our view of it.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Those who regard the reclusive Argerich as one of the world's two or three greatest living pianists—classical or otherwise—would not have left the concert hall disillusioned.

In a staid city like Washington, D.C., too many concert programs still stick to the basics. An endless litany of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky concerti clog the schedules and parades of overeager virtuosi seem unwilling to vary their repertoire for blasé D.C. concertgoers. But occasionally you encounter a concert that refreshes your perspective of the familiar. The works presented at The Kennedy Center on 25 October 2017 might be stalwarts of 20th century repertoire, but guest conductor Antonio Pappano, leading the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, reminded us how galvanizing the canonical can still be. Though grandiose executions of Respighi's The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome were the main event, the sold-out crowd gathered to see Martha Argerich perform one of her showpieces, Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto. Those who regard the reclusive Argerich as one of the world's two or three greatest living pianists—classical or otherwise—would not have left the concert hall disillusioned.

Keep reading... Show less
9
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image