DMX Krew – What Happened to Peace?

4 out of 5

Label: Breakin’ Records

Produced by: DMX Krew?

Y’know, I own a fair share of music, but I’m not a knowledgeable sort from a technical perspective, and I still get mighty puzzled as to how I’m supposed to know – if it’s not printed on your record – if that new 12″ single I got is 45 RPM or 33 RPM.  Someone can tell me something about the spacing of the grooves, but I don’t know if that’s apparent to the naked eye, and I also don’t know why googling this subject just brings up people talking about 7″ 45s.  I… don’t need help identifying those.

So: I generally assume that singles pressed to 12″ are 45 RPM, and I play them, and if they sound normal – like, they’re techno, so maybe they’ve just got a crazy beat – then I figure I did alright.

Ed DMX’s ‘What Happened to Peace?’s’ B-side (Planet DMX) – which, also confusingly, is the side with the track listing… – fell prey to this, and I was impressed by how much of an absolute banger the track was; very heavy, very dancefloor, very good.  This also holds up when the cut is played at regular speed.  And, though I’m making up unnecessary analysis, doing so helps to bring out a sort of sci-fi flavor to the accompanying blips and bleeps, satisfyingly conjuring up a vibe that matches with the title: some outer space world populated solely by DMX beats.

The A-side is a little less dramatic, reveling in more laidback percussion and a chanting vocal loop.  It’s an excellent track (backed up by an instrumental version without the chanting), but, as it’s less immediate than Planet DMX – and because the vocal loop is pretty short – it’s a tad more repetitive.  (I didn’t check this side out at 45 RPM.)