Tuesday, February 17, 2009

N.A.S.A. launches

Out today is The Spirit of Apollo, quite possibly the most diverse star studded release since We Are the World. Seriously, here's the list of collaborators: David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab, Z-Trip, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, Method Man, E-40, DJ Swamp, RZA, Barbie Hatch, John Frusciante, KRS-One, Fatlip, Slim Kid Tre, Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Ol' Dirty Bastards, Fatlip, Tom Waits, Cool Keith, Kanye West, Santogold, Lykke Li, Sizzla, Amanda Blank, Lovefoxxx, George Clinton, Chali 2na, Spank Rock, M.I.A., Nick Zinner, Kool Kojak, DJ B√£boa, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, DJ Qbert, The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface & DJ AM. Whew - try listing those in one breath.

All of these folks have teamed under the guidance of Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon under the grand moniker of N.A.S.A. (no, not the space place, North American / South America - as in it collects artists from the two continents) for its debut release. In its composition and theory it reminds me a lot of the Brighton Port Authority album that Fatboy Slim just released earlier this year, although its collaborations are super-sized, with most tracks having anywhere from two to five artists working together, in many cases very diverse artists. Of course, bringing together such a range of artists means some experimentation that could roll snake eyes, which means all seventeen of the tracks might not hit you equally well. Take for example, Tom Waits' distinctive growl mixing it up and laying down some rhymes with Cool Keith on Spacious Thoughts. It would be interesting to know how many of the singers actually worked in the studio at the same time and how many phoned in their pieces.

Regardless, there's some great material here worthy of the personnel. N.A.S.A. is taking to the road starting at the end of this month. I'm not sure how they're going to swing the party without the star studded supporting cast, so if anyone checks them out let us know. Of course that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the studio works of art. Here are a couple to check out.

Visit their website, their label Anti-, and become their friend on MySpace.


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