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Although J and Shaggy still sound more like a product of their time rather than an act of their own, Ringmaster is a fusion of disparate influences that works for about half of its 70 minutes.The Tempest Sounds Like: Where hints of the German groups Wax Trax material used to show up in small flourishes in the '90s, the influence of the band's polished, modern material is explicit on The Tempest.
It's the presidency of George W Bush famously not really "a details guy"Tea Party tub-thumpers convinced Obama is a Muslim socialist because Glenn Beck was just thinking it out loud, and creationists disproving evolution by pointing out no one ever found life in a jar of peanut butter. Then 18 and 20 years old, and only a few demos and EPs deep into the rap game, Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J's wear their 90's West Coast influences on their sleeves. Clark shows promise with his acid spin on atonal late '80s funk, but the bloated tracklist drags.
Carnival of Carnage is more trouble than it is worth.
The ultra-primitive late 80s throwback "Guts on the Ceiling.
Riddle Box Sounds Like: Clark weaves the psychedelic weirdness of Ringmaster into the funky murkiness of British trip-hop.
The result is a more distinctive voice which pushes Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope's "Dark Carnival" mythos toward a unified aesthetic.