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EST1 Record Reviews

Consolidated

The Myth of Rock LP (Nettwerk W1-30045)

They've been described as a meeting between Front 242 and Public Enemy, and I'm not about to deny the obvious linkage. This is agitpop par excellence. Pulverising beats, superlative situationist and anti-capitalist rap, the spirit of an earthquake entrapped in humble vinyl. Whenever I listen to this revolution seem only a drumbeat away ... And there's enough of a sense of irony present so that their violent opposition to consumerism can survive even its packaging in record form ie. a consumer product. Excellent stuff! Despite trying a little too hard to be the white version of Public Enemy, they produce a powerful neo-situationist critique of the music industry, the role of the modern musician, and capitalism in general. Exhortations to their audience to stop listening to this crap and get up and take control of their lives are a bit too preachy, but show their versatility of approach, and ability to present their message in different forms to suit a broad audience. And the beats are simply immense. You've bought this already, haven't you?

Consolidated

Friendly Fa$cism CD (Nettwerk NET 033CD)

Consolidated's second album is a stranger affair. The rap music is still there, as is the seismic hardbeat. The critical analysis of the music industry is as potent as ever, and Consolidated appear to be increasingly aware of the contradictions inherent in their position. This is intense, knockout, humorous music. Amongst the samples and beats are recordings from Consolidated's live audience participation sessions, providing a large number of moronic comments. The political agenda is more distinct too, with a shift of emphasis towards the rights of women and the rights of animals, including Meat Kills, a recital on the righteousness of vegetarianism. The sharp contrast between their preaching and their self-aware humour couldn't be more clear. Their willingness to ally themselves with what I find to be the more idiotic excesses of radical feminism may put some people off. This is clearly a result of their environment: the issues they approach and the ways they approach them are very American. Meanwhile, the music is a bit more laid-back than before, with nothing quite as scorching as the first album's Product, for example. Nonetheless, Consolidated remain possibly the most important rap group in the world. Buy this record, mindless consumer!


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