Psycho Dwarf Party Music

Nearly a year after the release of their full-length album, Stone

Crazy, the Beatnuts

have decided to tide us over with an EP. Following in the footsteps

of the Fugees and

Cypress Hill, they've released a remix album, which will appeal

mostly to hardcore fans.

Much to the Beatnuts' credit, however, The Spot holds up

better than those other

EPs because the

material is more solid and because the remixes retain the spirit of

the originals.

Remixing popular songs is tricky, because a remix can either

make a song sound infinitely

better (Black Moon's "I Got Cha Opin" and MC Lyte's "Cold Rock a

Party," for instance),

or it can make you say, "This is crap ... this sounds nothing like the

original." Fortunately,

all eight of the

versions found on The Spot shine as brightly as the

originals, and sometimes they

glow even more.

Even at their mellowest, most of the songs on The Spot

retain the party-in-the-jeep, good-time vibe that characterized

much of the mid-'80s hip-hop era (during which

Russell Simmons-managed acts like Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and

the Beastie Boys ruled

the land). In fact, it seems like the guys in the Beatnuts were

weaned on the Beastie Boys'

Licensed to Ill, but they decided not to grow up to become

"respectable."

"I wanna fuck, drink beer and smoke some shit," (the chorus of

"Psycho Dwarf II") pretty

much sums up the Nuts' mentality. Fortunately, like the Beastie

Boys, the Beatnuts don't

mean any harm with their borderline-retarded goofs, they just like

wallowing in their own

stupidity -- a nice change of pace in these heavy, depressing

times. The electro-funk

bassline and synthetic hand-claps that hold down the "Off the

Books" remix is another

example of the "can't-stop, won't-stop, gonna-kick-your-ass-if-you-

don't-start-dancing"

atmosphere that dominates the proceedings.

The Spot isn't anything more than a toss-off remix EP, but it

contains enough

morsels to satisfy die-hard fans and is good enough to convert a

few new ones.