I excuse a lot of a-rhythmical attempts at meshing the breakbeats of hip hop with hipster-celebrated stylings, but Cassettes Won't Listen's Animal Ox project should be accompanied by a collage medley of FAIL memes.
Vast Aire, Vordul Mega and El-P will never make another record under the Cannibal Ox moniker. It's been difficult to stomach, given the debut classic that is The Cold Vein, but with time comes healing and acceptance. Of course, motherfucking Cassettes Won't Listen had to shit in my sandwich and mash the vocals of Cannibal Ox with the sounds of Animal Collective's equally instant classic Merriweather Post-Pavilion.
My initial reaction was curiosity that perhaps both groups, in their unparalleled uniqueness in the indie-scene, could co-exist on record. Then, I listened to rhythm-less fuckery that combined Can-O's “A B-Boy Alpha” with AC's “No More Running”. I cringed. I patiently waited for CWL to figure out the BPMs and fit the drums to the lyrics. I made excuses for him, since Vast Aire is not celebrated for his perfect bar structure. I tried, but… what in the Helen-Keller-bedroom-studio was Cassettes Won't Listen thinking when he decided that mash-up was finished?
It's not entirely terrible. By “Vein” and “Real Earth” CWL splices appropriately – even to some minimal enjoyment. “Raspberry Fields” is pretty fucking rad – that can't be denied. The crisis is powerful songs like “The F-Word” are rendered hollow from mistreatment. The original “F-Word” (even the RJD2 remix) is a sonic precursors to El-P's further emotional exploration heard in songs like “T.O.J” and “The Overly Dramatic Truth”. While, CWL is missing the point entirely, by forcing chopped-synths and bouncing drums into the fold that create a carnival sound beneath Vast's rationalization of a love under new restrictions.
Fuck it, if anybody thinks I've written too much on a project that's been on the internet for an hour. I'm about to make a statement mostly reserved for scared middle-aged Bible-thumping republicans, but here goes… is nothing sacred anymore?! Maybe it's only my concern, but I am starting to notice the ugly side of liberal sampling, of remixing and mashing up, of imposing one's amateur take on a classic record and frankly, I'm mad as a hornet. CWL's last mash-up Ludacris Democracy (yup, Ludacris meets Guns 'n' Roses) was met with a cease and desist letter from the RIAA. Fucks sake, Jason Drake? Have you learned nothing from your previous mistakes.
Download Animal Ox here – if you dare.