Listening: The Mix Up - Beastie Boys

The packaging proclaims this as "their first-ever full album of all-new instrumental material" - just in case you might be freaked out by the surprise of an instrumental album I guess.

It's almost impossible not to hear this as the soundtrack to some very cool film - it drips with atmosphere and the further in you get, the more it seems like the coolest 70's exploitation/blaxploitation film you never saw.

So it's in these terms that I'm going to talk about the tracks on this album.

Overall, it's fantastic - I really like instrumental music when I'm working - the language centers of my brain don't get confused but I still get caught up in the music on more of a subconscious level.

(If you're interested in a slightly more musical take on this album track-by-track, check out this blog - we noted a few of the same things at points)

B For My Name 3:32

Opening with some slinky keyboard driven 70s swagger, this feels like you are the hero strutting down a street in your neighbourhood in the opening scene of a blaxploitation film.

14th St. Break 3:34

This track features a more contemporary clattering drum breakbeat, a buzzy almost-but-not-quite distorted electro riff, plenty of grooves and a sense of movement with an impatience to get there.

Suco De Tangerina 3:17

With a satisfyingly rumbly bassline, reggae beats and a very catchy synth melody, this track puts you somewhere in the tropics but still feeling a little like the hero of some cheesy 70s movie out of their element.

The Gala Event 3:47

Slowing the pace down and adding a certain amount of suspense, this feels like the docks in the early hours of the morning, waiting for someone shady to turn up. Parts of the keyboard remind me momentarily of The Necks' soundtrack to "The Boys", another dark, gritty piece of celluloid.

Electric Worm

With a healthy bed of wakka wakka guitar and a warm confident bassline, this feels like you're out on the case, doing the legwork, talking to snitches and making some progress.

Freaky Hijiki 3:06

This is a lights down low, slinky track that is close to but not quite the sex scene - there's an extended drum break solo near the end that just wouldn't quite fit (or maybe I'm just a dull dull man :)

Off The Grid 4:36

This could be the end credits - it has an everything's ok now feel to it - it could also be a bit of a drug-den party vibe where the hero is tripping out a little and then goes off into a full dream sequence kind of thing - I like the stretched out spacy quality to this one as well as the dominant guitar in the latter parts.

The Rat Cage 3:37

I get the feel of a sparky but slightly dingy nightclub from this one - you enter from a dirty city alleyway, walking down some stairs. It's another smooth track with the drum beats and dirty distorted but pure guitar putting it into this decade.

The Melee 3:10

Our hero is walking down the street, intensely focussed on the matter at hand. Things have been happening in the story and it's all getting pretty lively - this could well be on the way to the final showdown.

On the other hand, this could well be the closing credits, leaving you to walk out of the movie on an energised high.

Dramastically Different 3:57

With a little bit of a sitar sounding buzz, this is probably the scene where our hero goes to talk to the free-lovin' hippies for some help - there could well be some kind of wanky montage here.

The Cousin Of Death 3:06

Music for a visit to a loud sleazy stripclub, playing in the background while our hero talks to someone (or possibly roughs someone up - most likely in self defence)

The Kangaroo Rat

This is perhaps the wild card part of the movie - maybe a chase scene, maybe the part that you thought, wow, I wouldn't have thought of putting that in a film. It has energy and drive but isn't crazy fast or anything - I guess this could conceivably be the end credits (the sound that is playing as you walk out rather than the credits that you sit through to the end.)