Don’t be afraid, this is not another undigestible DJ scratch album. The mutant wrestlers and fans on the cover are a little intimidating, but the folks at Grand Central have released collaboration between Peter Parker (scratch virtuoso and member of the turntable group Cutting Crew) and Sneaky, a classically trained double-bassist. The Main Event is a primarily instrumental hip-hop album, each track featuring dizzying amounts of scratching and turntable tricks. Sneaky’s bass arrangements bring elements of complex theory as well as three-chord punk guitar to compliment the sharp production of every piece. Tunes like "Check
It Out" have a Dust Brothers influence; a 70s processed funk with filthy bass and scratched out drum lines. "Head to Head" keeps the same components, adding string arrangements and dramatic build-ups. Additional songs feature even more strings and twilight zone keys for disturbing and sinister results. Maybe it’s just the track titles like "Big Monsters Crush Cities" or is there a definite wrestling/Godzilla theme going? Fingathing must have a stockpile of crazy dialogue samples in their studio. Check out the monster evacuation alerts, the hecklers from the Muppet Show on the end of "How To Smoke," and their homemade skits like the British wrestler M.C. on "Slappy’s Theme." He introduces a contender and judging by the soppy and playful music, he must look like a horribly deformed Grimace. On "Just Practice," a guitar instructor runs us through the hilarious basics of guitar playing while guest artist Mr. Scruff, scratches along. You can hear the Coldcut-esque sound with its cut ‘n’ paste humor, which is possibly because Mr. Scruff is a Ninja Tune veteran and they have oozed their influence into his writing. Another guest artist, Veba gives a soulful vocal performance on "Slipping." The beat thunders behind her carefully layered vocals. Fingathing expresses it’s experimental side on "You Fly Me" with two complicated bass parts, more strings, and a minimal three-piece percussion kit. A drum machine stumbles out a jerky, chunky rhythm on "Ffling" while Sneaky’s Fugazi-like bass line takes the track into complete insanity and eventually explodes in the end. Parker’s fellow turntable mate, DJ Noize attests his scratch talent on "Crowdpleasers," a hip-hop track that is brimming with attitude. Their incorporation of bizarre samples and sounds is one of the most interesting elements of the album. Church bells give way to distorted organs and beats fuse with the merry-go-round music of "Big Kid." Each part of the song sounds as if it was created from a scratched part that was diced up and looped together resulting in an orchestra of skipping turntables. This album even has a dancing girl show with go-go music and the crazy voice of the
M.C. to introduce them. They close out their album with what I believe is a nod to Led Zeppelin or at least their best impression. "The Final Bout" has Zeppelin’s psychedelic atmospheres, more strings, and a Robert Plant-like wail that is being scratched in and out of the mix. If anyone out there knows Mr. Plant, tell him to be sure and check out Fingathing, maybe they could work on collaboration.