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JADE PALACE GUARD: Assault On Pokeep: 2976 (2014) Free download

Assault On Pokeep Jade Palace GUard[RATING: 5] Fresh from the success of the summer’s Crate Rebellion LP comes the underground production alliance of the Jade Palace Guard with their latest martial arts/ sci-fi epic Assault On Pokeep. Well, I say ‘epic’. It has 13 tracks but it’s only twenty eight minutes long. It thinks big though and shows the same proclivity for boom-bap hip-hop with a sci-fi/ martial arts bent as its predecessor (not to mention a one-armed man motif), though this time around the man in charge of both rapping and production is new recruit ‘Pokeep Paul’ and damn if he doesn’t do a great job. As well he needs to if this LP’s narrative is to be believed, since in the year 2976, mankind has been all but wiped out by atomic warfare and hordes of robots and Pokeep (that’ll be Poughkeepsie, NY state) is the unlikely last stronghold of humanity – or at least one of only a few.

Wait – what? A mad clique of scientist/ programmer rulers in charge of robot armies? Humanity’s last stand? Obsessive fanboy self-indulgence warning! Er – well of course! That’s what makes it so good. No self-respecting lover of true school hip-hop and vintage B-movies is going to go at this sort of thing half-assed. And anyway, as the monkey pointed out with the last Jade Palace Guard release, there’s a cultural response angle here too. While apocalyptic sci-fi narratives might be set in the future, they can’t be anything but an extrapolation of the present or the past thus (as with kindred spirits the Deltron crew) this one metaphorically puts the boot into outrageously corrupt and hypocritical corporate/ military/ political/ complex that currently runs shit. It sounds pretty good too. What You Saw And Herd is a way too short fuzz guitar n fat break-powered paranoid rap, the excellently named Pokeepimping is a louche piece of sci-fi hip-hop and LP standout What You Don’t Know is an oriental-strings infused, Deltron-esque slab of dystopian boom-bap. Jade Palace Guard then, they might be all about the one-armed man but this is the sound of two hands clapping…
(Out now. Get it HERE)

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