In The Mix: Madman's Return and Mexican Jihad's Emergence
The ‘Madman’ is back, and he has indeed returned. The introduction to this album really sets the tone for the intensity of this record. The pulsing beat is constant and continues to add and take away layers in the introductory track titled, 'Madman's Return.' Then ‘Colour of Love,’ begins with musician, producer and former member of Snap!, Penny Ford, singing “Give a little/ Take a little.” Turbo, a beatboxer, rapper, and prominent former member of the group, recites a low pitched, relaxed rap. This song also features an understated guitar tune in the background. “There’s no colour of love so chill.” The message of this track is to give and take love, regardless of a person's color of skin.
Madman’s Return was released in 1992 by the Eurodance group Snap!, granting them their most popular and successful single, ‘Rhythm Is a Dancer.’ Without the addition of American singer/songwriter, composer and dancer Thea Austin, this great hit might not have existed. Austin helped write ‘Rhythm Is a Dancer’ after she became a member of Snap! in 2001. The track was released as the album's second single in July of 1992, and samples several bytes from the song ‘Automan’ by the 80s American electronic/hip-hop band Newcleus.
Each track is unique, simultaneously manifesting a vibe of non-stop dancing. ‘Believe in it,’ features a distorted electric guitar and funky synths to add value to the Madman’s words. This song focuses on how Turbo will take this woman "down," if she “believes in it.” Turbo’s flow in this track is more clever than most ideas he brings forth in the album. ‘Who Stole It,’ is a strong song in terms of rhythm and intense overall sound. Several abstract electronic synths are added to the song, creating buildup and great transitions into the rhythm section where the drums and beats shine through.
‘Don’t Be Shy,’ includes a mystical, slow beat that almost put you in a trance. The song transforms into what sounds like a slow pop/R&B song. Turbo’s verses rapped in this track are also catchy and enjoyable — almost sounding like Biggie Smalls. ‘Money,’ comes in differently with a driving hip-hop beat that gives the effect of natural instrumentation in the background, such as a spoon hitting a bowl. The lines in this track struck me as very amateur, (“No I’m not a turkey/So don’t try and roast us/You’re better off sticking a fork in a toaster/You think I’m stupid cause I’m a musician.”).
Madman’s Return also released two popular follow-up singles, ‘Exterminate’ and ‘Do you see the light?’ featuring Niki Haris, a talented vocalist known for her long history working with Madonna. In ‘Do You See the Light,’ Haris’ beautiful vocals make the song. Turbo’s intervening preaching is meaningful in content but maybe too harsh for the gracefulness that Haris gives us in her delivery of lyrics.
The 90s dance record did pretty well for itself, ultimately achieving gold in the UK and Germany. However, shortly after the release of Madman’s Return, Turbo B decided to leave the group due to conflict with the producers.
Mexican Jihad – Boiler Room (Puerto Escondido DJ Set): The artist begins his set without buildup. The DJ goes straight into a rhythmic techno-house beat. Mexican Jihad uses his body to demonstrate the tempo he is carrying out. He transforms the house beat into a more psychedelic, techno sound. Jihad appears relaxed and ready for the hour-long set he is about to put on in the Boiler Room.
“It’s a fine day,” echoes and shifts the set to a faster rhythmic pace. The DJ dances to his own music and looks incredibly comfortable behind the turn tables. The artist makes sure to add several sound bytes that enhance the overall performance and interest of listeners. At six minutes, Jihad erases several layers, and slows down the direction of the song just so he can speed it way up into a storm of Spanish dance music.
The artist’s talents really start to emerge when he mixes ‘My Neck My Back,’ an incredibly vulgar, yet fun song. He begins to improve by playing the song in a faster tempo, then slowing it down to add his own bongo-drum sound with his mix board. These drums add great variance to his sound. From there on, the performance enhances with each minute. The artist has an unorganized style, mixing everything from Spanish music, to Hip-Hop, heavy metal and house music.
The DJ really has a unique way of dropping the beat, waiting patiently and teasing the crowd with intense horns and synths. When he does finally drop the beats in his performance, the sound is unbelievably powerful. Mexican Jihad concludes his performance with a remix to an upbeat rap song ‘Tomboy,’ by underground New York rapper Princess Nokia. He transforms the song into what sounds like an earthquake of bass and horns, leading up to his last and final showcase of a Spanish rap song. The artist really cannot be placed in a singular genre; Jihad explores every possible synth and beat he can control within his hour-long presentation.