Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Extra Yard [Big Dada, 2002]
Documenting a "bouncement revolution" that exists only in the perfidy of its promotional imagination, this U.K. label comp is the hottest mix CD I heard in 2002. "Dancehall flavoured hip hop," writes one lukewarm listener, but in fact the two elements are equal and the flavor's in the arrangements: spoken Brit-Jamaican English of varying local provenance and no verbal distinction over beats that I guess are "garage," their big attraction keyb-generated horn or organ or guitar bits laying on the rhythmic dissonance and harmonic frisson. These never get better than on the first song, Gamma's "Killer Apps," and wear down midway through. But their momentum sweeps the record all the way to Roots Manuva's "Witness the Swords" and its keyb-generated harp, by which I do not mean harmonica. A-