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Hexstatic - Pick 'n' Mix

Hexstatic, Pick N Mix

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

HAVING spent the past 10 years making some of the craziest audio and visual productions and staging spectacular shows around the world, Hexstatic – aka Stuart Warren Hill and Robin Brunson – follow up their Solid State Mix CD of 2003 with Pick’n’Mix: An Assortment To Suit All Tastes.

And just as it says on the label, this fast, furious and downright funky mix album features everything from Mr Scruff, Grandmaster Flash and RJD2 to The Harry J Allstars, Billy Connolly and Dick Emery!

Indeed, it’s Connolly that gets proceedings under way in a sample taken from one of the Scottish comedian’s stand-up live shows, before the fun really begins with Tony Hatch’s Sounds of the Seventies – a mash-up of some familiar tunes that have regularly been sampled.

If there is a criticism, it’s that some of the tunes may be over-familier to genuine connoisseurs of the mix genre – Grandmaster Flash’s White Lines is a particular culprit having also cropped up on the likes of recent Paul Nice efforts.

But there remains an undeniable fun about the selections here, which blend into one seamlessly. This is, after all, a breezy concoction in the finest ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ traditions that’s more interested in entertaining than breaking new ground.

Hence, anyone on the look-out for a dead cool party album that might be the envy of many a Friday/Saturday night reveller will find plenty to keep the party buzzing here – as well as a few surprises.

This means that the effortlessly cool funk of Grandmaster Flash’s Pump Me Up can be dropped alongside The Harry J Allstars’ reggae-heavy Liquidator to surprisingly feel-good effect.

While the disco cheese of Hot Butter’s dated Popcorn is given a kitsch revival when sandwiched between more Grandmaster Flash (Wheels of Steel) and the psychedelic rock of The Kinks’ You Really Got Me, with its distinctive guitar riffs.

Dick Emery’s You Are Awful, with its ‘come and do the conga’ chant, then follows along just to really throw revellers a curve.

Hexstatic’s own Pulse is then given a workout in dance form, to ensure that the cool vibe is retained.

Like its name suggests, Pick ‘N’ Mix is a really diverse collection of rock, soul, hip-hop and funk that has been carefully blended to create a genuinely feel-good experience.

It is indeed an assortment capable of suiting all tastes!

Track listing:

  1. Sounds Of The Seventies – Hatch, Tony
  2. Spacewalk – Hot Butter
  3. Dancing In Outer Space – Atmosphere (4)
  4. Let The Good Times Roll – RJD2 # Freestyle – Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five
  5. Chicken In A Box/Ahhhhhh Punch You In The Face – Mr. Scruff/Ju Ju & Bloody Moon
  6. White Lines/Cocaine In My Brain – Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel/Dillinger
  7. Chip Funk – Lost Idol
  8. We Got The Funk – Positive Force
  9. Pump Me Up – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
  10. Liquidator – Harry J & The All Stars
  11. Rip Off – Rareforce
  12. Fug – Cymande
  13. Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel/Break Dance Electric Boogie – Grandmaster Flash/West Street Mob
  14. Popcorn – Hot Butter
  15. You Really Got Me – Kinks
  16. You Are Naughty (But I Like You) – Emery, Dick
  17. Pulse – Hexstatic
  18. Bam Bam – Toots & The Maytals