Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tricks and/or treats

There are few things I look forward to more than Halloween-themed music compilations. I don’t imagine that confession shocks anyone, but I just wanted to put it on the table before I proceed.

As a die-hard Halloweener and a huge dork, I was keenly interested in developments concerning the second annual Rhyme Torrents Halloween project, known simply as Halloween 2.0. Though I was less than hopeful that the compilation would make its projected release date, the RT community pulled together and made it available yesterday as originally promised.

This time around, the comp is actually two individual disks, each composed of 13 tracks. They range from simple spoken interludes to 7+ minute musical epics, and, in true Rhyme Torrents style, the contributors run the gamut from old favorites to – if you’ll pardon the pun – new blood.

I realize that the RT compilations have gotten a bit of a bad reputation as far as quality is concerned, but, unlike most of the previous collections, the production values for Halloween 2.0 seem to remain fairly high and consistent across the board. The intrinsic musicality of the songs themselves, however, is a different story. While most of us can reach a consensus as to what is acceptable as far as mastering and leveling, we certainly have disparate ideas concerning what makes a truly enjoyable song.

To that end, I’ll go ahead and say that the listener will find tracks that he digs as well as those that he’d simply choose to ignore upon repeated plays. And, if you are the type who finds more of the former than the latter, may I remind you that both disks are provided free of charge.

In my opinion, each disk boasts some genuinely standout tracks. ZeaLouS1’s “Zombie Killa,” which I was fortunate enough to hear in its early stages, presents a very interesting post-apocalyptic narrative, and TyT’s “Trick or Treat” is powerful and dynamic in the spirit of YTCracker. Projekt Zero and T-Byte manage to strike a great balance between lyrical storytelling and musical ambiance on “Last Man,” as do Conyeezy and nYgel on their submission “World War Z,” which takes its name from one of my favorite contemporary novels. But the first disk truly belongs to Metamystiks, Inc.; their track “Voices” continues MMI’s grand tradition of bringing it harder and more relentlessly with each release. Though their output is limited, DJ Snyder, Super Dragon X, and myf are batting a thousand.

Disk 2 is of note first for MC Tanuki’s coaxing Ultraklystron out of his (sort of) retirement to contribute to the track “Vampires Really Suck,” which has a great guitar-rap vibe thanks a clever musical hook. Down Underdogs'Bloodsucking Freaks” also bring a fantastic old school vibe to the proceedings, and they prove a tough act to follow. Still, the Ice & Fire mix of MC Lars/mc chris collaboration “Roommate From Hell” manages to forgo traditional hip-hop for a more rocked up approach, and Horrorshow’s “Everything’s Over Now” stands out as, perhaps, the compilations most thematic, undeniably eerie cut and a perfect way to close.

As previously stated, the compilation is free for the taking, so I highly recommend that you check it out. There’s something for everyone, from the young nihilist just looking for tales of fright to the head who desperately wants to believe that there’s something nerdy he can vibe to. So take a chance and check out Halloween 2.0, and then be sure to show some love to your favorite participants.


J3SS said...

thanks for bringing this to my attention! I would've gotten around to it eventually, but you showcased some songs I MUST HAVE, so it's on it's way to me right now. thanks for that.

Z. said...

No prob, J3ss. Holler back with your own personal faves once you get the whole thing checked out. :)

antisoc said...

I haven't finished listening to the whole set (just a little more than the first disc), but I'm very impressed so far.

Navid A said...



Z. said...

Yeah, Soc, I'm still reeling from the fact that the overall production was so high!

Right back at you, myf. :)