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MF Doom

Special Herbs, Vols. 1-2

Special Herbs, Vols. 1-2

UPC: 822720710010

Format: LP (2 disc)

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Producer: The Metal Finger Villain Lord Dihoo.
Containing instrumental versions of previously released vocal tracks (everything from MF Doom's Operation: Doomsday to his work with K.M.D. and Monster Island Czars is represented here), a handful of previously vinyl-only cuts and some borrowed guest tracks from the likes of DJ Spinna, DJ Cucumber Slice, and Doom's long-lamented little brother DJ Sub-Roc, Special Herbs, Vol. 1 & 2 is a mish-mash of prog-inflected beats and crackpot schematics that wavers between being a little overlong and flirting with divine inspiration. Longtime fans shouldn't be fooled by the seemingly fresh track titles, though -- in keeping with the album's theme, even the most familiar beats have been renamed. In spite of MF Doom's signature production, which casts prog music's liquid tones on a variety of organic instruments, a few of these recycled cuts ("Arrow Root," "Mullein") suffer from repetition when unveiled in instrumental form. Sandwiched between some of the more trying loops, however, are some dazzlingly inventive offerings, namely the '70s cop-drama squeal of "Coriander," the rolling crush of "Fenugreek," the wiffly flutes of "Nettle Leaves," and the plush, liquid soul of "Monosodium Glutamate." Even the much-maligned low-budget game show cheese of "Zatar" deserves a nod, if nothing else than for its sheer imagination. ~ Mark Pytlik


Disc 1:
1 - Saffron
2 - Arrow Root
3 - Zatar
4 - Fenugreek
5 - Sumac Berries
6 - Coriander
7 - Shallots
8 - Charnsuka
9 - Monosodium Glutamate
Disc 2:
1 - Red No. 40
2 - Nettle Leaves
3 - Mullein
4 - Mugwort
5 - All Spice
6 - Lovage
7 - Eucalyptus
8 - Myrrh