Juggaknots Clear Blue Skies

The Bronx pairing of Buddy Slim and Breezly Brewin dropped this underground classic way back in 1996 on the now defunct Fondle 'Em label and then seemed to drop off the face of the earth. Juggaknots managed to drop their lyrical presence on Company Flow's masterpiece Funcrusher Plus one year later and increased the anticipation for a full-length, but the duo didn't deliver and heads were left with the impression that the Juggaknots were a mere hiccup on the hip-hop map. But not so fast, for the two have emerged with a revamped edition of their sought-after nine-track debut, remastered with an additional 11 cuts tacked on, some great and some average. Clear Blue Skies sounds far superior to its vinyl-only original, which really makes one appreciate how fantastic the Juggaknots production was. The original cuts from 1996 are still the stand-out compositions on Clear Blue Skies, but gems like "Watch Ya Head" hold strong, and because the new jams are mixed between the originals you really won't feel the bump in the musical road. Don't get too hyped over the fact that there seems to be a handful of new Juggaknot beats because the majority are incomplete snippets that clock in at but a minute. The real greatness lies in the original joints and this new opportunity to tune into this hip-hop classic should be viewed as something to get you psyched for a true follow-up. (Third Earth)