The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack

Review: The Man with the Iron Fists film score

RZA & Howard Drossin: The Man with the Iron Fists film score (Soul Temple, 10/22/12)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the score for The Man with the Iron Fists doesn’t differ greatly from the soundtrack, opening as it does with an extended, reworked sample from Wu-Tang Clan’s “Shame on a Nigga.” With that one chopped-and-screwed moment, though, what we’re really seeing is a hip-hop sensibility being applied to a score that well compliments its accompanying soundtrack.

The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack

Review: The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack

V/A: The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack (Soul Temple, 10/23/12)

Assembled by rapper/director RZA, the soundtrack for The Man with the Iron Fists aurally delivers on the eyeball-punching promises of his over-the top grindhouse martial-arts movie.

From blues-driven opener “The Baddest Man Alive,” which sees RZA reunite with collaborators The Black Keys, this collection of largely new tracks works as a cohesive album while being eclectic enough to function as accompaniment for a film.

DC the MIDI Alien

Beats & Rhymes: DC the MIDI Alien’s Avengers Airwaves

Each Monday, Beats & Rhymes highlights a new and notable hip-hop, rap, DJ, or electronic record that embraces independent sensibilities.

DC the MIDI Alien: Avengers AirwavesDC the MIDI Alien: Avengers Airwaves (Brick Records, 2/15/11)

DC the MIDI Alien: “National Threat”

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During his 10 years of deejaying, DC the MIDI Alien has racked up an impressive résumé. He’s worked with Immortal Technique, AZ, and Wordsworth as well as remixed Nas and others. In 2008, he formed the group East Coast Avengers with MCs Esoteric and trademarc, and their gritty, politically charged debut Prison Planet garnered them national media attention with its lead single, “Kill Bill O’Reilly.” DC returns this February with a semi-solo LP, Avengers Airwaves, which further cements him as a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop world.

DC produces the record and brings in a gaggle of rappers to provide the rhymes — from his East Coast Avengers bandmates to Jedi Mind TricksVinnie Paz and DJ Premier acolyte Termanology. DC’s production style is decidedly old-school: the songs are built on steady, mid-tempo drum beats with only a few looped samples. Standout track “Man Made Ways” exemplifies DC’s old-school skill — an echoing, droning organ loop creates an atmosphere of paranoia and foreboding, punctuated by bursts of loud, crunching guitar. The production doesn’t falter throughout, recalling early RZA with DC’s ability to create maximum effect with minimalist beats. Although DC doesn’t speak a word on the record aside from skits, the album has every right to bear his name on the cover.

Wu-Tang Clan

Concert Photos: Wu-Tang Clan @ Congress Theater (Chicago, IL)

Everyone’s favorite original rap super-group Wu-Tang Clan rolled through Chicago over the weekend to perform a set in the Congress Theater. Though its individual members have each gone on to do a number of other things, including RZA‘s foray into Hollywood and recent work on Kanye West‘s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, it’s nice to see them unite forces once in a while. ALARM contributing photographer Elizabeth Gilmore waded through the head-nodding masses to snap these stellar photos.

Wu-Tang Clan

Weekly Music News Roundup

Blue Note announces another list of catalogue deletions; Akron/Family and High on Fire sign to new labels; Trent Reznor comments on Nine Inch Nails‘ music being used in the torture of overseas detainees.  Keep reading…