Subway Series, the latest release from Ming & FS, screams diversity and challenge. It's difficult to tell where their inspiration comes from, simply because this album is all over the map. Every song is different from the last, but each is orchestrated skillfully. From drum & bass and Digeridoo, to hip-hop and heavy guitar, this album has it all.
Track one, "Steady Shot", is just that: steady and smooth. Introducing the album with these great 70's-esque, synthed melodies, is the perfect way to announce that this album could take the listener anywhere. Once Ming & FS roll into "The Most Dangerous Drip" and its vibrating drumbeats, sped-up vocal samples and throbbing bass, a sense of frantic exploration takes over, and excitement exudes out of every sound.
The most interesting thing about this album is its directionless journey. Every song introduces something new, and each new thing deserves and demands the listeners full attention. "Misdirected", featuring DK and Aref, brings out an incredibly soothing trumpeter combined with cooing female background vocals. This trumpet is carried along into "World Wide" and finds new support from a compressed drumbeat and an upbeat, techno lick.
The raw energy of ghetto New York is not forgotten. Brilliant 80's rap vocals bring us back to our roots, yet at the same time give us hope for extensive hip-hop progression with the wickedly groovy beat in "The Answer", featuring Churchill. Then all at once you take a drive into the Australian jungle with "Retrace", when a Digeridoo shows what kind of depth the drum and bass genre can possess.
The performance value of this album is phenomenal. The combination of samples, turntables, live instruments, synthesizers, and vocals are arranged in such a way that one can be certain that Ming & FS are scholars of music. The exploration, progression and enthusiastic discovery of so many incredible combinations and blends are really what sets this album apart from many others. Melding things like heavy, aggressive guitar with scratching, and flugal horns with drum & bass, produce the most unusual and infinitely fascinating musical sensations. It's difficult to pick through songs like these because it is so hard to resist sinking into the vibes and losing all awareness of reality, but it doesn't take much to sum up this album as being a tremendous journey through music and time.