Waxfactor – The Game Face (Needlework)

Waxfactor - The Game Face

Waxfactor’s mix for DELTA 9 in 2002 showcased an impressive selection of experimental hip-hop including Kool Keith, Anti-Pop Consortium and Daddy Kev. Since then his studio time has yielded an appearance on the high-profile Lexoleum compilation (on Warp’s hip-hop offshoot – Lex Records). Waxfactor effortlessly treads that difficult ground between abstract and raw – keeping the “real hip-hop” contingent happy while gaining a wider following by avoiding the insular attitude of which hip-hop is often guilty.

At first listen ‘Game Face’ seems straight-forward – eight tracks, all beat-heavy and guaranteed to get heads nodding, but Waxfactor takes us through some clever sampling from quirky latino grooves to carefully chopped reggae breaks, and ‘Lou’s Blues’ cheeky Cypress Hill snippet. By contrast the woeful strings of ‘Better Days’ and subtle guitar melody of ‘A Famous Myth’ are deeper and more melancholic.

The standout track ‘SRB’ comes straight in with a sturdy break and some ridiculously good scratching. If you’re familiar with the excellent ‘Elvis Pig Farmer’ LP by Waxfactor’s compadres – Superdense Child, you’ll know exactly where this is coming from.

This strong EP has a smooth flow from start to finish held together by meaty hip-hop beats. Here we have a versatile collection of instrumental cuts – perfect for mixing and home listening alike. For just £5 from the Needlework website with a free CD of Waxfactor remixes – it’s a must have!

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3 June 2004

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