The RZA's tracks drip sweat. They're dusty and menacing. They get right up in your grill and and dare you to say something. His loops are often truncated in the oddest places, like two puzzle pieces that don't quite fit together but make the illest design.
In the early '90s, The RZA, then know as Prince Rakeem, had begun making music for his then new Staten Island (aka Shaolin) based supergroup, Wu-Tang Clan. When Enter The 36 Chambers was finally released in late '93, the effect was seismic. The RZA's "awkward" combination of rugged drums and off-center loops formed the foundation of a unique sound that would inspire a whole new generation of samplists, as well as set off searches for the components of those loops.
As the nature of this Shaolin style became more defined, it became clear that the sounds of the South, and in Memphis especially, seemed to hold a particular draw for The RZA and other disciples of his style. It was in Memphis that the recording studios of STAX Records were based. The records that STAX issued had a certain tone and swing that perfectly complimented The RZA's gritty, down-to-earth style.
Shaolin Soul Selection: Volume 1 presents 24 original recordings - nearly 2 1/2 hours of essential soul music on 2 CDs or 3 vinyl LPs - from the vaults of STAX Records and its subsidiary labels that inspired The RZA and the classic sound of The Wu-Tang Clan...
released 19 March 2013
All tracks issued under license from the Concord Music Group.