The boom-bap drums of 3:33 certainly sound live; of course, I would assume that they are not, most likely sampled from Ultimate Beats and Breaks Vol. 3 CD or straight from dusty pre-loved vinyl. Live from the Grove – a sheltered spot where New Jersey b-boys meet the high priests of an arcane animist cargo cult in order to sacrifice the weak hearted quantized pre-sets of the modern generation to an awesome deity that demands complete obedience. Live from the Grove comes across like the bastard offspring of Steinski’ rawest lessons, mixed with the rhythmic intuitive of Coldcut, plus the East Coast combative inventiveness of Company Flow and Edan, the humble magnificent wizard of rap. There’ also an oddball experimental edge to this recording – think Simon Wickham-Smith’ Two4Dancin or the modern day psych-beat of Sun Araw and Alex Grey’ (Deep Magic) screwed Heat Wave project.
Best listened to as an album, the short tracks blend into each other, and remind me of a sprightly DJ mix from the mid 90s given an extra distorted punch by a blown bass speaker. 3:33 have lightened the mood slightly since their debut EP, seamlessly splicing in cheeky sound bites about the Bohemian Club and stranger danger with creepy nocturnal invocations to Moloch, and add in a hefty dose of fierce distorted breaks and razor-sharp effects. Slowing the beat down to a sub-aquatic crawl reminiscent of Andy Stott’s latest efforts, “LFTG 8′ operates under the immense pressure of many atmospheres. If Sun Ra was currently making Hip Hop (I suppose he could be), I reckon it would sound like “LFTG 5’â€“ as break-dancers from Saturn mix it up with nervous Sub-Continental vocals. “LFTG 4′ sounds like a Godflesh outtake from Love and Hate in Dub, as the scowling break is counterpoised by what sounds like a rusty gate, or maybe a sample of Einstuerzende Neubauten. Suddenly, a Lionel Richie-esque funk-lite interlude bursts onto the scene encouraging youngsters â€œDon’ talk to strangersâ€, all very strange, unpredictable and amusing. There’ a definite DJ Shadow vibe to the concluding track of Live from the Grove, as another rock-steady break is allowed space to breathe, giving a certain widescreen vibe to the proceeding beat-tape claustrophobia. Paraphrasing the metaphysical sound bite that concludes this track, there’ a sense of some ultimate revelation taking place on Live from the Grove.