Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Ultramagnetic MC's - The Ultra's Live in Brixton LP - Red Vinyl (/1500)


Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for thirty plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

Record Store Day 2024 might as well have happened on Ed Lover Dance Day this year as every record that I bought was a hip hop release this time out.  The costs of these records were ludicrous, partly because the Record Store Day release tax is still a thing and everything is already priced high to begin with, but also because the store I go to seems to have marked stuff up another five to ten dollars per release after poking around online after the fact.  The flip side of that annoyance being that the store always has what I need and I don't have to camp out over night to get it.  That said, maybe I just hunt for leftovers the next day next time.  We'll see, there is a nice dopamine hit getting the records in hand day of.

On to the record for today.  Ultramagnetic MC's is one of my favorite hip hop groups and even though I'm not really a live album guy, I just couldn't pass up a live recording of these guys recorded in 1990.  I should have listened to my inner monologue and left it on the shelf.  I'm not going to sugar coat this at all, this record is awful.

There are a few tracks on here that are alright.  All of which are freestyles or DJ interludes.  But whenever the Ultras do an album track, they are rapping over the actual album being played.  So you can hear the vocals on the record, and then hear a second set of muffled vocals on top of that.  It sounds so bad and I can't believe that anyone would have ever played a show doing this.  

Maybe they didn't have instrumental versions available at the time, which would be forgivable - but most of their singles did have instrumental versions on them, so who knows what happened there.  But the bigger issue is I'm shocked that anyone would think it was a good idea to release a recording of this and then charge over 40 bucks for it.  Even the cover picture is kind of crappy and blurry.  

A regrettable purchase that, based on Discogs prices, I probably couldn't unload if I wanted to.  It'll probably just sit on the shelf next to all of my other Ultramagnetic MC's records.  While I play those others all the time, I can't fathom ever spinning this one again.

No comments:

Post a Comment