"Deep Down and Dirty"
Record label: Island
Format: 12"/CD5/Cass
Release date: 14 May 2001

For those of you wondering where Stereo MC's have been for the past few years, they didn't go anywhere. They've been quite busy with their record label, publishing company, remixes, and sound system appearances. They just haven't released an album in almost a decade. It's finally here, though, and the title track seems to suggest that you shouldn't fix what isn't broken. "Deep Down and Dirty" sounds like Stereo at its early '90s best, but with a decidedly darker spin and an older, wiser Rob Birch at the helm. His lyrics and raps were always different, plus his voice is so distinct. This cut sounds like advice being passed down to a younger, cockier generation from a crew that set trends while stumbling along the way. As for remixes, Two Lone Swordsmen place emphasis on the "Dirty" portion of the song's title. This one is great - an abstract, sinister downtempo rub with bass that rattles your head. The sonic danger beneath the surface occasionally comes up to strike. Jon Carter's Basement Mix wants to be a peak-hour cut, and it just might get its wish. Slightly rearranging the original's elements, Carter kicks up the tempo and drops the bass for a driving and forceful revision. Things are going fine up until the breakdown: the vocals get about three steps ahead of the beat and the groove gets totally lost (read OTV long enough and you'll find out how much of a stickler I am about stuff like that). A decent effort, though.

{chloe knuckles}
  • purchase this album and listen to samples at CD Now.
  • visit the official Stereo MC's Web site.
  • visit the Island Records site.

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