WUGAZI. Fugazi meets the Wu-Tang Clan in a mash up produced by Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy. Skeptical? Me too. Being a hard core fan of both groups, I initially rolled my eyes when I heard of the project: I had an instinctive aversion to the thought of mashing up Fugazi, who based their sober anti-marketing career on chanting down the capitalist system with The Wu-Tang Clan, who set out to dominate the same system and in the process became a blunt-toting capitalist marketing monster. It seemed like a lame gimmick doomed to cheap laughs. And frankly I didn’t need to stain my cherished memories of both groups with the lame aftertaste of this punk-ass project. Besides, mash up albums have always left me somewhat cold – yes, even Danger Mouse’s famous Grey Album that blended Jay-Z’s Black Album with the Beatles’ White Album was, for me, (with some exceptions) more interesting than good.
But as far as WUGAZI goes I was wrong. Very wrong. WUGAZI works – BIG TIME.
WUGAZI: 13 CHAMBERS is a tight and raucous album that brings out the best of both bands, and highlights the rhythmic, lyrical and technical precision, and the passion, angst and revolutionary energy that made me love both groups in the first place. The blend is completely symbiotic – WUGAZI gives fantastic new life to both crews and makes fans of each appreciate their music and attitude from different and refreshing perspectives. Ultimately the proof for me of WUGAZI’s quality is the fact that when I listen to the album I forget that I’m listening to a mash up. It’s simply a BRILLIANT album. Rolling Stone offers a great review and a complete track by track breakdown that you can read here. Listen to some tracks below and download the whole album for free from the mashers’ website here. You won’t regret it!