Album Reviews

2nd Gen – Irony Is

(Novamute) UK release date: 26 February 2001

2nd Gen - Irony Is While scanning the press release for Irony Is we read a lot about 2nd Gen originator Wajid Yaseen’s “no rules” approach to music making, but we’ve read such spin so many times we tend to stroke our chins and make humming noises while nodding sagely.

Imagine our surprise then, as we removed an acoustic album from a stereo with the bass turned on and the volume turned up, when the first track (and single) from Irony Is, called And/Or, came thundering out at us. The floor shook.

A mad industrialist collection of hip-hop beats, thumping bass, white noise and vocals which, in places, sound like they come courtesy of a junkie, hit the senses like a good curry – there is no messing about here, this guy is straight to what he wants to do. “It’s a hybrid of sounds and sources, not purely done on computers, not purely done on conventional instruments,” says Wajid. “It’s a lot of regenerated sound, twisting it back around so it almost collapses within itself.”

The son of an Indian devotional singer, Yaseen appeared from the womb in Manchester and seemingly has been playing something ever since. He formed a thrash punk band in Sweden, played bass for Fun>Da>Mental and now, on Musicians are Morons (this album’s second single), he uses the vocals of New York’s Sensational. The latest name added to a list of collaborators already replete with Dalek and Cold Kid.

Slowburn should do well as a single too, with all the thumping beat of Rage Against The Machine at their best. Musicians Are Morons puts one in mind of some powerful tracks from Pop Will Eat Itself, played through fucked speakers.

The wall of sonicity deployed on Irony Is must be listened to, but more than that the lyrics are rather special too – and they are neither sung nor rapped but… well, slurred.

Somewhere way out there, Irony Is is nothing if not the official announcement of a rather special talent come out to play.

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