Review - Shoot the Boss

Artist: Monkey Mafia

London-based DJ Jon Carter made his bones as a drum & bass engineer and heavy-on-the-funk mixmaster before recording with his Monkey Mafia project on 1997's 12-inch single "Work Mi Body." On that outing, Carter created a perfect sonic blend of tribal beats, dub-reggae aesthetics and dancehall-vocal samples, and he extends the cannabis-flavored madness for the duration of his first full-length, "Shoot the Boss."

The result is a magic-carpet ride miles ahead of the countless Chemical Brothers clones. Carter reveres '70s-dub wizardry and playfully updates it with rolling bass lines and psychedelic studio tricks. Opening cut "Jah Music" sets the tone with densely layered riddems and treated vocals that segue into the lunar-landing chill of "Blow the Joint Up" before the tongue-twisting toasts of vocalist Douge Reuben spiral "I Am Fresh" to the heavens. Pots-and-pans percussion, ghostly organ swirls and space-odyssey effects line Carter's bag of tricks, but he really shows his stripes on the album closer, an ethereal cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long as I Can See the Light."


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