Belles in Monica Meltdown

Scotland trio Belles in Monica released a bunch of remixes in the UK throughout 2002 to build anticipation for their Resistance is Futile debut. It's taken more than a minute for those three singles to reach out to the rest of the world, but they have exposed Kruze (raps and production), Red (guitars and fx) and DJ Dema (cuts) as a group intent on expressing themselves through interesting hip-hop. The first single contains three remixes of album cut "Y'All Under Surveillance," but the "Runaways Mix" strips the beat down too much, while the "G-Sharp Mix," with its additional cuts from DJ Devestator, and the "Nappa Mix" bring different but fuller flavours. The single ends with "HipHop," an album cut that could have been an early '90s rap anthem. With the second single, Belles in Monica present four different mixes of "Meltdown." The original mix is the best, with its aggressive nature, layered production and sweet singing samples. Still, Mr. Krash Slaughta's "Massive Meltdown" is able to take it up a notch, mixing up a massive club hit, while Gripper makes the track into a creepy horror theme for the downtrodden. The "Nappa Mix" suffers the same fate as the "Runaway Mix" of "Y'All Under Surveillance," presenting mostly simple piano and drums, although Mr. Thing's cuts go a long way in keeping the track interesting. The third single is their best, with "What D'Ya Need" featuring Kruze's most impressive vocal appearance. The two remixes are different, with Unsung Heroes presenting a dramatic reworking and Krash Slaughta doing the song justice with dark production and distorted vocals to match the psycho lyrics. Krash Slaughta also contributes a heavy, spacey remix to "Resistance is Futile," which far surpasses the lyrics as a reason to listen. There's also the excellent album cut "Skitzophonetic," a bragadoccia, "new kid on the block" theme song. With lots of non-album remixes, these three singles are more than just an introduction to Resistance is Futile. (Independent)