Record Review - 2 July 31 2003

What goes better with peanut butter than jam? Appropriately, U.K. label Ultimate Dilemma asked mixtape maestro Peanut Butter Wolf to sandwich 18 jams on the third of the Badmeaningood series of crate explorations by some of the world’s finest purveyors of (rare) groove.

Just as U.K. series such as Back to Mine and AnotherLateNight invite international producers to handpick tracks defining their aural aesthetic, Badmeaningood has spotlighted selectahs Skitz, Roots Manuva and Peanut Butter Wolf, the only American, so far. On his volume, NoCal’s PBWolf picks with the care you’d expect of the audio archivist responsible for the Stones Throw label.

As concerned with diggin’ beats as he is with beat digging, PB Wolf fills Badmeaningood with fun and feisty tracks. But this isn’t merely a rarities collection meant to establish cred — PBW already has plenty.

There’s more to be gained by including the prog-rock of Iron Butterfly, electro of the Human League and ’80s percolating pop of Joe Jackson, and putting it on equal footing with the funk of Roy Ayers and Alicia Myers, the breaker’s delight of the B Beat Girls, and the hip-hop of Grandmaster Flash, the 45 King, the Cold Crush Brothers, Jungle Brothers and Prince Far I, among others. Picking tracks with an ear toward percussive thrust, PBWolf’s eclectic Badmeaningood charts the (heart)beat that knows no boundaries in hip-hop.

Peanut Butter Wolf spins at MJQ Concourse Fri., Aug 1. Call for ticket price.