Mixmaster Mike


BY Noel DixPublished Dec 1, 2004

It’s a shame that Mike seems to be marketed as the Beastie Boys’ DJ in the past few years because there’s a whole history of groundbreaking turntable antics that he and the Invisbl Skratch Piklz defined ten years before Hello Nasty. Luckily through all of this though, Mix Master Mike hasn’t lost his vision for making brilliant and challenging recordings, when he easily could have been persuaded to make something more accessible to teenagers. Bangzilla isn’t quite as good as Anti-Theft Device, but it follows the same formula — Mike lays down high-energy galactic break beats for him to slice and dice robotic tones, puzzling samples and an overall devastating science fiction assault. This album is like an attack on Japan with anthems such as "Magnet,” which rides a classic string section as laser beams are launched via Mike’s fingers. The fast-paced kicks never seems to let up from start to finish as Bangzilla continues to push the days when hip-hop was heavily electronic, with "Blow Dart” sounding like it could blend into Herbie Hancock’s "Rockit” at any second. It’s a shame really because it’s nice when Mike changes the pitch up and dives into a slow hip-hop groove that sends shivers down your spin and gives you some rest, but he’s not as generous this time around, forcing you to ride through the intensity. Bangzilla is a relief because it’s the kind of record you would expect from Mix Master Mike and even though it’s not as hot as his earlier adventures, it’s still a welcome addition to his catalogue.

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