Reviewed by Luca Maini (igloomag.com)
After a glimpse of their vocal skills on Mark One's One Way, Virus Syndicate are back with a full album. Some friends of mine who never liked hip-hop find MC's boring, but I thought that those vocal tracks were very effective, especially "Ready For It" with the infamous line "get ready for the sickness." This time Mark One keeps the production even more minimal, the beats are punching but without any kind of percussion, and the samples are kept to a few instantaneous riffs. Very simple --but it works. Take for example the bouncy break and the funky sax of "Clockwork" and you get an instant tune. The oriental mood of "Throwing In The Towel" and "Karma" underlines very well both the beats and the MC's. Oh, and obviously there's loads of bass everywhere, it's grime after all.
The bassline of "Wasted" is huge, yet is perfectly tuned with the chorus, giving rise to one of the best tracks of the album. The lyrics are a bit a matter of taste I suppose, they're distant light years from 50 Cent, even if they talk about girls, money and parties --it's a very different attitude, at least from what I can understand because of the very weird accent. Personally, I really enjoy the anti-drugs lyrics of "Nadine" and the self-explicative "Get Money," but maybe a hip-hop expert (i.e. not me) could be more critical. You know what you get here, if you are an MC hater don't even try to listen to this and turn to Vex'd instead, otherwise The Work Related Illness is surely a fresh, entertaining record.
- Various - The Cosmic Forces Of Mu
- Venetian Snares - Defluxion
- Venetian Snares & Speedranch - Making Orange Things
- Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations
- Hrvatski - Swarm & Dither
- Mu Allstars - Criminal
- Hellfish & Producer - Constant Mutation (Mixed)
- Leafcutter John - Microcontact
- Nicole Elmer - Beef Bouilion
- Tim Tetlow - Beauty Walks A Razor's Edge
- Phthalocyanine - 25 Tracks Fer 1 Track
- Leafcutter John - Concourse E.E.P.
- Luke Vibert - '95-'99
- Jega - Geometry
- Capitol K - Roadeater E.P.
- Kid Spatula - Full Sunken Breaks
- Jega & Kid Spatula - Unity Gain / Hard Love
- Capitol K - Sounds Of The Empire
- Slag Boom Van Loon - So Soon
- Tusken Raiders - The Motorbike Track
- Slag Boom Van Loon - Slag Boom Van Loon
- Jega - Spectrum
- Horse Opera - 3 Cornered Room
- Capitol K - Island Row