Spectre The True & Living

With a focus on dub, illbient and experimental hip-hop, Wordsound had a great run in the late '90s before falling off the radar. But label head Skiz Fernando (aka Spectre the Ill Saint) has continued to put in work with a consistent release schedule of illbient instrumentals. And with album number ten, little has changed. The True & Living is dark and brooding, while the vocal samples he works in often deal with death, destruction and deception. The news reports and interviews used on "Impending Doom" blame the mass death of birds and fish on an experimental new weapon, while the speech on "Destroyer" warns of our upcoming destruction when a dust cloud will pass through our solar system. Popular speeches from Videodrome and Full Metal Jacket also make the cut, on "Reality TV" and "My Rifle," respectively. Of course, soundtrack music gets sampled, with selections from Star Wars stitched into the title track, and then to make that song even more epic, Wu-Tang's Killah Priest kicks some third-eye knowledge as the first of only two guest vocalists on the album (the other being long-time collaborator Sensational, who contributes a laidback freestyle for "Triumph"). The True & Living is exactly what you'd want and expect from Spectre, only improved and refined by experience. (Wordsound)