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DJ Clash - 3 The Hard Way

Billy Boyo, Little Harry & Nicodemus

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Album Review

The material on this disc was originally issued on two early-'80s LPs: Little Harry vs. Billy Boyo and Nicodemus vs. Toyan. As the titles indicate, each of those albums was a "DJ clash" program featuring five performances each by the two featured toasters. The five Toyan tracks had their CD release as bonus tracks added to the reissue of Toyan's How the West Was Won, leaving these 15 songs by Billy Boyo, Little Harry, and Nicodemus. The resulting collection is a bit awkward, since Little Harry and Billy Boyo were both prepubescent at the time these tracks were recorded and Nicodemus was a grown man. It's also a bit awkward because Billy Boyo was apparently incapable of chatting in tune — his singsongy delivery is consistently in a completely different key from the instrumental backing tracks. Little Harry and Nicodemus are both well worth hearing, though, and the rhythms (courtesy of the brilliant High Times and Roots Radics bands) are consistently excellent. Highlight tracks include "Bubble Nicodemus Bubble" (on which a middling performance by Nicodemus is redeemed by brilliantly dubwise production), the hypnotic "Billy Boyo in the Area" (his strongest performance on this disc), and a fine singjay track by Little Harry titled "Harry on the Go." Uneven, but recommended overall.

DJ Clash - 3 The Hard Way, Billy Boyo
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