Mystics Remnants of a Lost Culture

Through a number of sound bites, the Mystics set the scene for Remnants of a Lost Culture by equating hip-hop culture to ancient civilisations on album intro "The Search." Although they don't go so far back on their debut, the Mystics do bring that old school vibe. More of a crew than a group, the eight members of the Mystics combined from two individuals (Okie Doke and Express Fresh) and two groups: Phantom Zone (MATTs and Fourever) and Nonhuman Intelligence (Dimension, Abyss and Prism). As expected, this unusual situation creates a variety of combinations, from solo tracks to group tracks to massive posse cuts, which come in many permutations. And in case eight MCs isn't enough, the Mystics tap the talents of Supernatural, Abstract Rude (Abstract Tribe Unique), Imani (Pharcyde), Will.I.Am (Black Eyed Peas) and Rahzel, who busts a quick interlude. Medusa also guests, wasting her formidable talents simply for the hook of "Breaking Atoms." The lyrical content is predominantly focused on the lost culture/hip-hop duality with a find blend of alien intrigue for good measure, but the Mystics don't shy away from punch lines and battle raps either. The production also finds a mixture of sounds, produced exclusively by the Phantom Zone duo (with the exception of Prizm laying down the beat for Dimension's 25 second solo track, "Mystic Realm"), they emphasise clean sounds, often live instrumentation and a bumping, old school party aesthetic dressed up in future feel to guarantee the music is always fresh. An album compatible with both parties and walkmans. (Mean St.)