Monkey Mafia: Shoot The Boss

Monkey Mafia: Shoot The Boss

With its confrontational title and cover art portraying police as riot-ready fascists, you might expect Monkey Mafia's Shoot The Boss to be the product of Germany's Digital Hardcore fringe. But instead, main Monkey Mafia man Jon Carter has created something unexpected: a tough-sounding but danceable and highly musical mini-revolt, pre-packaged for easy implementation. For some reason, Carter's music is often lumped in with the accessible big-beat fluff of Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers, but his music is much more diverse and satisfying. Carter's love of reggae and old-school hip-hop is made clear by the loping, gritty beats, and he frequently injects bits of heavily accented toasting to spice up the music. But the funky layers of percussion found on such songs as "Lion In The Hill" and "Work Mi Body," though steeped in dancehall, dub, and hip hop, more often than not recall that lost funk link go-go, another musical form that transformed house parties into political statements. Both of the aforementioned songs, as well as "Blow The Whole Joint Up," have appeared on a few name-making EPs, but surprisingly, the individual tracks fit right in. Shoot The Boss hardly sounds like a clearinghouse of songs written in the last five years, instead indicating Carter's focus: His songs never veer far from the music he loves, and the album doesn't make lazy concessions to the charts or the clubs. As if to further prove he's on his own wavelength, Carter closes the album on a puzzling note, a trip-hop cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See The Light." If in 30 years, electronic music turns out to be the classic rock of the late '90s, musical anthropologists should have a field day with Carter's CCR curveball.

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