- 23 Jul 18
Yo! Bum Rush This Show!
Hip hop isn’t real music, the argument used to go. Fear Of A Brown Planet is a simple but brilliant idea that puts paid to that bollocks: Big Easy/Brass/Funk versions of the best of Public Enemy. It’s funkier than an egg sandwich in a parked car.
The Enemy, without Chuck and Flav? Heresy, surely, but the emphasis here is on the musicality of the original Shocklee Brothers/Bomb Squad productions – samples piled on samples to create something that sounded fresh from another dimension when we heard it first, back in the decade that taste (mostly) forgot. Brownout previously had a similar go at Black Sabbath, and if they could make you tap your toe to the whitest, most unfunky music of all time, then they were always going to be on a winner here.
‘Louder Than A Bomb’, ‘Shut ‘Em Down’, and ‘Fight The Power’ are all ridiculously groovy blasts of brass and chicken-scratch guitar over the kind of busy drummer James Brown used to rave about giving some to. ‘By The Time I Get To Arizona’ channels those failed psychedelic records that Chess forced on Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, as well as Isaac Hayes’ awesome Hot Buttered Soul, and ‘Welcome To The Terrordome’ is transformed into the theme tune from some as yet unmade gritty cops-on-the-edge TV show, with feint echoes of Roy Budd’s Get Carter soundtrack.
Go deeper, and ‘Miuzi Weighs A Ton’ is the sound Tarantino dreams of, ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’ is the Beastie Boys by way of New Orleans, and the bang of Blaxploitation movies is so thick off ‘911 Is A Joke’, ‘Bring The Noise’, and ‘Prophets Of Rage’, you half expect Pam Grier or Jim Brown to start shooting at you from behind them. The rhythm is still the rebel. Killer.