This limited-edition double-CD compiles instrumental versions of the Corrupt Data and Valley of the Shadow LPs. Without vocals, I definitely hear these tracks in a new light. Both discs are great, with production courtesy of Funckarma and MCs Non, Breaf, and Dream. 2004’s Corrupt Data still sounds fresh. “CDC” uses reverb and horns to good effect. “Figure of Speech” is dark and tasty, with scratches and an ominous bass synth. “American Dreams” is my favorite cut, with scratching, syncopation, and glitchy goodness. On “Medic,” turntables tease over tympani while a Middle Eastern melody haunts.
As the title implies, Valley of the Shadow is somewhat murkier, especially in instrumental form. My favorite track is still “Massive.” It’s a strange combination of funky bass and echoey cross-faded melody. “Pevic” sounds empty without its stuttered vocals. “Deander” holds its own with cut-up acid and skittering beats that must have been a bear to rhyme over. I can almost sing the choruses to “Visions” and the unearthly “Y.”
There’s still a real dearth of artists who can successfully combine smart rapping with experimental electronics. Shadow Huntaz fill this niche. It’s great to have a set of DJ tools for their tracks. Maybe these instrumentals will also extend their audience to listeners who aren’t sure they like hip-hop.