Published Jan 01, 2006On the Who Gives a Fuck side, Conglomerates demonstrate why they are about to be a threat in the underground with two diverse tracks. On “Listen Up,” Rai Phormeta lays down the challenge along with Stronghold member Breez Evaflowin’, each dropping one long-ass battle verse. Angus Scrimm’s simple beat bumps with a nice bass-drum combo, and Old Maid Billionaire J-Zone drops some precise, old school cuts, making the track a nice opener. “Disguised Skies” delves deeper into Phormeta’s personal emotions, wondering aloud about life after death from the loss of someone close. Dub-L’s beat lends itself well to the introspective lyrics but avoids becoming cliché or boring thanks to a number of change-ups and some freakiness. Rai Phormeta also makes an appearance with Ebbineeza on “End Clone Gaming,” the bonus final track on the flip side, labelled the Pre-Med side. “End Clone Gaming,” a plea for artists to stop biting and be themselves, is probably the album’s tightest track. TeQnotic started with a thumping drum, weaved in a number of interesting effects and instruments, and never lets up. And again, J-Zone steps in with some slick cuts. For the other two tracks on their side, Pre-Meditated Mind Dust avoid the dark, grimy feel of the rest of the album. Ebbineeza and Ogul open with the club-ready, Latin-tinged “No Cambien (Don’t Change Me),” another request to remain true to self. It’s short, self-produced, and lots of fun. Unfortunately, “The Great Escape” just comes off as mediocre, and the xylophone is too much for the self-produced beat that otherwise might have been good. A great introduction to two groups that cover a lot of bases.