Corrupt Data

By Ed Thaw

On paper, an album put together over the Atlantic through ICQ, AOL and MSN Messenger looks like a great, new, productive and morally sound use for file sharing. Shadowhuntaz' collaboration with dutch duo Funckarma, Corrupt Data, was honed over endless exchanges, file transfers and emails, after the brothers from Holland heard the 7-inch Medic by the US trio. 35 tracks in the can and the two collectives never so much as met each other.

Looks like a good story but the resulting sound of the thirteen tracks here doesn't quite overcome the gimmick of their own construction. There are times on Corrupt Data where the US trio of Non, Sabdullah and Breaff are on top of the beats, as on opener CDC and their underground hit Medic, where the beats are tight enough to allow them to spit without being suffocated or hurried. Nite will leave the phrase 'I live for hip-hop, I die for nothing' imprinted in the back of your cranium. Power Divine succeeds thanks to its unstable bassline, stumbling like a drunk Ol' Dirty Bastard underneath the droning synths. But elsewhere the three emcees are reduced to getting the words out as fast as they can, throwing synonyms and around like so much confetti without always hitting the mark. 'I'm illmatic like Nas' is one lyric that sets up a pretty big fall.

Social conscience, misogyny, dissing wack emcees, the litany of going hip hop concerns are all here, married with frenetic, cascading beats. It's only when the Funckarma make a stab at what sounds closest to conventional hip hop (on Roar) that they come up short. For all the possibilities of music making over the internet and the respect due for creating an album this polished sight unseen, the question remains – what kind of album might have emerged after a few weeks of face to face time in a studio.
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