Spiritual Juice Music Cube

Whether or not you understand the strictly Japanese lyrics of Tokyo's Spiritual Juice shouldn't deter you from enjoying their second CD-EP, Music Cube. Since I don't understand the lyrics, they could be rapping about anything, including gats and bitches (but somehow I doubt that). However, the three MCs have enough style and flow to keep you listening - sort of like another instrument, really. Not that the beats need another instrument, though, the group's two producers hold it down nicely, having very little in common except for a desire to experiment with sounds. While most of the album has a sci-fi, future feel in the beats, Dr. Puzzle tends to lay down the ethereal other world soundtrack for space explorers and superYaji SSY bangs together the musical environment of those left behind on Earth, the armpit of the universe. This dichotomy is best demonstrated with "Chalinko-Soldier (track 1)." Music Cube opens with the remix of this song, which was produced by Dr Puzzle. Here, a sparse drum beat, a space siren's song and some keyboard notes create a very cold and vast expanse. The original version, which appears at the end of the album as a bonus cut, is very different. SuperYaji's production has fuller drums, more traditional effects, which slide in and out, and a tempo to get the B-boys groovin'. Both are definite album highlights, as are the superYaji-produced songs "Doukutsu-Dashutsu" and "Spiritual Soundclash," and the Dr. Puzzle produced "Negai (1)." Recommended to anyone looking for something different. (Independent)