CD Review 

When Pigs Fly:The Chicharones

There is a difference between hip-hop and rap. hip-hop is a collective of walks, talks, dancing, beats, scratching and graffiti style art. Rap consists of mostly an MC and a producer. In places like the Bay Area, hip-hop artists like Soleside's label originated Lyrics Born and Oakland artist Mystic match up with mainstream rappers like 50 Cent sale for sale. Meet the Chicharones. Named after "pork cracklings" and led by gifted wordsmiths Josh Martinez and Sleep, the Northwest hip-hop group is an infectious blend of fresh beats and cut and pasted melodies.

DJ Wicked brings his knowledge of nearly every '70s, '80s and '90s vinyl release to the table. The end result is a journey into the sound of sounds. Syllables are dovetailed with blended cuts of non-pastiche and head-bob inducing kick and snare hits. Every track on their newest release When Pigs Fly is solid. The canvas holds strokes of Salsa, urban beats, folk, obscure movie quotes and old school attitude. "Ring, Ring" gives a nod to Lyrics Born "Cold Call" and sets up a phone conversation between Sleep and Martinez. The arrangement trick works. On the track "Keep it Moving," Martinez shouts a message of efficacy. The album is positive and entertaining. It sounds like they had fun making the album and you can't help but have fun listening to it.

The album ends with a narrator talking over a Hawaiian groove, "And so friends, thus ends your Chicharones record. We hope you have enjoyed it immensely and now find yourself smarter, wiser, better looking, and with much greasier fingertips ... may all your wildest dreams come true."

Chicharones bring their road show to The Bouquet on November 11. Local groove-meisters Kamphire Collective are set to open up a night of positive messages and highly danceable tunes.
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