Extended instrumental interludes play an important role in Beastie Boys concerts, letting fans relieve beer-engorged bladders without worrying about missing anything too exciting. The increasingly graying Boys cook up more in sounds from way out on The Mix-Up, delivering 12 greasy funk instrumentals saturated with '70s blaxploitation atmospherics, fuzzy Eastern undertones, and garage-band Farfisa courtesy of the invaluable "Money" Mark Nishita, who also handles Rhodes and Clavinet duty. The result is destined to serve as chic background music for countless dorm parties thrown by people who'd never think of picking up a Meters or Booker T. & The MGs album. Combine this with the punk EP Aglio E Olio and the Boys' uncharacteristically straightforward, non-eclectic, curiously underrated 2004 hip-hop album To The 5 Boroughs, and you have a satisfyingly uneven, agreeably overreaching hodgepodge of sounds and styles à la Hello Nasty or Ill Communication. Besides, The Mix-Up really seems designed as an excuse for touring, and anything that gets one of hip-hop's best live acts on the road again is performing a valuable public service.
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