Even more delayed than the Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 fellow true-schoolers Foreign Legion finally release ‘difficult third’ album, Night Moves on 12 April this year.
Full-Time B-Boy was the big underground banger that broke them (in the UK at least) at the turn of the millenium and appeared on debut LP Kidnapper Van. This was succeeded in turn by their ‘club’ album Playtight which swapped heavy old school samples and production for more up-to-date stylings along the lines of Q-Tip’s underrated Amplified LP (though FL’s rhymes were infinitely better) and then (post-departure of DJ/ Producer DJ Design), EP The Secret Knock in 2008 which found the sound of Playtight infiltrated by smoother funky cuts. And this is the territory they continue to occupy in Night Moves. In short, the new abum is built around beats awash with West Coast sunshine and seventies-style funk samples and garnished with Marc Stretch and Prozack Turner’s trademark wordsmithery.
Known prank felons, Stretch and Turner opt to open Night Moves with a minutes’ worth of nasty eighties funk instrumental that sounds like incidental music off Miami Vice before launching a tirade against the music industry over the funk b-line of Victory. Fast And Loose is just that and sees Prozack show he’s still got rhyme game with “At the bar, her ass I had a handful/ I’m clever enough to talk Jesus outta his sandals,” over cop-show funk. And in fact lyrically both come good time and again. Turner is seemingly unstoppable in the simile department, “Highly combustible, rhymes to crush another crew/ I shine like the ass on a baboon, I’m colourful” while Stretch drops cheeky battle rhymes like, “Send your best over, that’s risky like fucking on your grandma’s sofa.”
Beat-wise, West Coast smoothness is evident in the lounge atmosphere of One Shot, first single Travel Lite, Angel and Legionnaire Lounge though that gets it’s club on with the beat. Then there’s recent single The Ultimate and Fresh Air which are also mellow but occupy a more Philly–soul inspired territory. Bangers come in the form of – er- Piano Banger (biggest cut off The Secret Knock EP) and Party Over Here which kind of needed to go hard or go home with a title like that. It doesn’t go home. Unavoidably perhaps with six producers involved (tracks are variously produced by G-Koop, Grandpa J, Intro beatz and DJs Flip and Buzz and Turner himself twiddled the knobs on just over half the album), there’s some musical disjointedness, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. There’s no filler on here though it is a bit of a grower. Whack it on loud and see how you get on. I did and now my safari suit is all soiled and dirty. In a good way.
(Out 12 April 2011)
(PRESS RELEASE) Prozack Turner and Marc Stretch are Foreign Legion. Their debut album, Kidnapper Van (along with DJ Design) broke new ground for underground hip-hop and took playful shots at the industry and art that spawned them. Several tours around the world resulted in the party-driven Play Tight, soon after. The trio became a duo and next came The Secret Knock. An introspective, albeit brief, look into the minds of two musicians that still love the art of rhyme. Guess what, good people? Good music is still alive and well, at least in the Bay Area. Foreign Legion returns with their newest original offering, Night Moves. The Oakland based duo took some time off after their previous release to work on various ventures, away from the group. They re-connected in the studio and the result is a 13 track opus that finds the group as focused and hungry as ever. Contributions from G Koop (Jake One, EA Ski), Rashaan Ahmad (Crown City Rockers), Grandpa J, Intr0Beatz, DJ Flip (ITF Champion) & DJ Buzz (Waxolutionists) help give the album a sound that is well worth listening to over and over. You don’t have to wait for the sun to go down make some Night Moves.
Foreign Legion – Night Moves Tracklisting
1. CA All Day – Prod. By Prozack Turner
2. Victory – Prod. By G-Koop – Additional sample arrangement by Prozack Turner – Background vocals by Latashia Govan
3. Fast and Loose – Featuring Rashaan Ahmad of Crown City Rockers – Prod. By Prozack Turner
4. The Ultimate – Prod. By Grandpa J
5. One Shot – Prod. By Prozack Turner – Guitar by G-Koop
6. Son of a Gun – Prod. By Prozack Turner
7. Party Over Here – Prod. By Prozack Turner – Guitar by G-Koop – Cuts by DJ Whooligan
8. Fresh Air – Prod. By Prozack Turner
9. Didn’t Work Out – Prod. By Prozack Turner
10. Travel Lite – Prod. By Introbeatz – Synth by G-Koop
11. Piano Banger – Prod. By Introbeatz – Cuts by Introbeatz
12. Angel – Prod. By DJ Flip and DJ Buzz
13. Legionnaire Lounge – Prod. By Prozack Turner – Guitar by G-Koop – Additional Vocals by Darcy