17 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

MC Vursatyl, MC/producer Jumbo, and DJ Shines star in their very own, very theoretical blaxploitation flick (loosely based on an aborted ‘80s film concept by Baraka Feldman) about three ghetto strivers escaping the morass of their Portland, um, Razorblade City environment. While the narrative thread winds up being far beside the point, Gutterfly uses the funk and soul sounds of the blaxploitation era to great effect — and, with its often sharp sociopolitical commentary, shows how little the urban landscape has changed in the past 30 years. “Double Up,” densely and woozily produced by Oh No, boasts flute and horn loops that nod to the ‘70s, but the jagged beats and cuts by Shines and Jumbo are pure 21st century West Coast hip-hop. The title track, with rapper Camp Lo, bounces rhymes off straight-ahead, trumpet-fueled funk rhythms, while the mellow, jazzy soul of “No Surprise” (produced by Vitamin D) and the menacing, slightly exotic guitar and bass of “A Serpent’s Love” (featuring Digable Planet’s Ish) explore wider sonic territory. Fishbone provides appropriately dark instrumental support on “Dead Ones,” and “Night Out” features soulful background singers against the vocal musings of George Clinton. Most powerful is the inspirational, anthemic “Freedom Walk,” where they’re joined by rappers Dead Prez and guitarist Vernon Reid.

EDITORS’ NOTES

MC Vursatyl, MC/producer Jumbo, and DJ Shines star in their very own, very theoretical blaxploitation flick (loosely based on an aborted ‘80s film concept by Baraka Feldman) about three ghetto strivers escaping the morass of their Portland, um, Razorblade City environment. While the narrative thread winds up being far beside the point, Gutterfly uses the funk and soul sounds of the blaxploitation era to great effect — and, with its often sharp sociopolitical commentary, shows how little the urban landscape has changed in the past 30 years. “Double Up,” densely and woozily produced by Oh No, boasts flute and horn loops that nod to the ‘70s, but the jagged beats and cuts by Shines and Jumbo are pure 21st century West Coast hip-hop. The title track, with rapper Camp Lo, bounces rhymes off straight-ahead, trumpet-fueled funk rhythms, while the mellow, jazzy soul of “No Surprise” (produced by Vitamin D) and the menacing, slightly exotic guitar and bass of “A Serpent’s Love” (featuring Digable Planet’s Ish) explore wider sonic territory. Fishbone provides appropriately dark instrumental support on “Dead Ones,” and “Night Out” features soulful background singers against the vocal musings of George Clinton. Most powerful is the inspirational, anthemic “Freedom Walk,” where they’re joined by rappers Dead Prez and guitarist Vernon Reid.

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