Circle Research Mulligan Stew

After building a loyal fan base with their essential Toronto radio show, the Circle Research crew finally drops their eagerly anticipated debut. Having made a solid contribution to Canadian hip-hop for the past few years, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Astro and Nix roped in some of the country’s greatest talent. As well as showcasing some of Canada’s hip-hop strong points, the crew also dips south of the border to bring Brighton Beach’s finest, Wee Bee Foolish, along to give a verbal blessing to "Substance,” a simple jam highlighted musically with various levels of organ tinkering. Tara Chase shows us why she’s a contender for the best female MC north of America as she flows so fluently with Asicks and Yushin on "Bridging the Gap,” which is another jazzy number that won’t fail to make you sway. Not many are smoother than the mighty Abdominal and we’re thankfully treated to three jams with the incredible poet’s gift highlighting the composition, including the hip-hop disco flashback, "Music Like This,” and of course Circle Research’s buzz-generator, "Speak & Read,” which is still one of the best moments to come from their camp as they flip some Speak & Spell beats. Mulligan Stew is a tight record that gives equal nods to classic retro hip-hop and current flavours from an important pair of hip-hop figures in this country, so let’s hope that the rest of the world picks up on this compilation of Canada’s finest. (Do Right!)