The X-ecutioners

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

The X-ecutioners

Built From Scratch (Loud/Columbia) Live, the X-ecutioners set new highs in the art of turntablism. Built From Scratch does not achieve such goals. Instead, BFS takes the listener on a routine 68-minute "journey into sound," collecting a windshield full of gunk that can later be wiped off with a quick swipe of a squeegee. With no new scratches, no innovations, and an abuse of mere battle scratches, the X-ecutioners overcompensate for their overall lack of creativity by cluttering tracks with constant restatements of reaffirmation, forcing even credible MCs to become pawns of the ornamental obsession to their own greatness. On "B-boy Punk Rock 2001" and "Genius of Love 2002," the X-ecutioners blatantly exploit a curtain call of hype men, including Biz Markie, Everlast, and the Tom Tom Club, in an attempt to force categorization. The worst is "XL," a reintroduction, following a first track intro, where the Large Professor fills an entire verse with direct individual praise of each member. Okay, we get it! Utilizing tired samples and high-profile MCs, the hip-hop portion is weak, while the pop appeal rings loud and clear. As the underground forks to mainstream stardom, Built From Scratch forges a new sound, of investments made by major labels. Explanations are no longer needed on why this former NYC DJ wrecking crew landed in a SXSW lineup of rock bands. In coining a copyright on the X-ecutioners' sound, they forgot who they are. (Thursday, March 14, La Zona Rosa, 11pm)


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