Friday, July 27, 2012

Ian Cohen on Liquid Swordz

I won't begrudge any purist who wants to hear the crackle of "Duel of the Iron Mic" or the dense murk of "I Gotcha Back" enhanced by vinyl. But to these ears, Liquid Swords is a winter album meant to be heard in winter which is why most of us grew enamored with it as a portable experience, lodged into CD players or Walkmen, and stuffed between layers of puffy coats on subways, school buses. Even a solo listen in a car feels fairly inadequate, you almost have to ice grill a neighboring passenger while you're listening to it, knowing that they're plotting on the same gold. It's a record to make your surroundings as cartoonishly violent as Liquid Swords' chessboard cover, when you recognize that you're, as GZA memorably puts it, "trapped in a deadly video game with just one man." I've lived in Los Angeles for the past six years and really haven't found a lot of times appropriate to listen toLiquid Swords. That's not an indictment of its quality; it's a confirmation of its monomaniacal genius

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