I bought this EP on the same day that I bought the Stereolab album. The person who sold me this CD was black.
There are eight songs in toto, including the obligatory hidden track, and the EP lasts about 31 minutes. Insight, paWl, Fakts One, Lif and El-P take care of the production duties, providing freewheeling — if in fact I can once again use terms like 'freewheeling' — old school beats.
Enters the Colossus is somewhat similar to Emergency Rations, trading the latter's sparser beats and socio-political lyrics for sparser beats and socio-political lyrics.
Actually, the lyrics in this album are not as politically incendiary as on Emergency Rations. There are a few songs that are nothing more than battle raps — a facet of hip hop that I find both impressive and also somewhat ludicrous. Impressive because the rhymes are generally very creative, devastating even. Ludicrous because I can't get the image of a bunch of kats fronting up to each other and settling their disputes with a brutal rhyme-off, a rhyme-off crackling with an intensity that would probably send my apathy gland into critical meltdown.
The music on the album is an amalgam of not cheesy synth work — that wasn't sarcasm — and spooky, futuristic sounding type music, the sort of thing I imagine featured on the soundtrack of sci-fi PC games. It actually sounds a lot better than how I'm describing it.
There are a few guest rappers on the EP. Illin' P provides the ragga chorus and a verse on the song Cro-Magnon. Insight, T-Ruckus and Mr. Lif combine to form Knights of the Round Table on Pulse Cannon, after which Lif cheats on them, Lancelot style, to form The Perceptionists with Akrobatik for the song Avengers. All of the rappers are good, though T-Ruckus shits me a little; I don't like his voice.
The cover art, which Mr. Lif describes as 'fresh', is pretty amazing. Amazing in the sense that it conveys to what extent Mr. Lif's definition of 'fresh' coincides with my own of 'lame'. I mean, it's pretty well drawn and all but it could have been found on the cover of any sci-fi movie made in the eighties. Do you remember the nineteen-eighties?
Mr. Lif: Yes. I am.
Reviewed on Sunday, 7 September 2003