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Ghostface returns to the cinematic crime scene on Twelve Reasons to Die II

"Twelve Reasons to Die II"

Release date: 13 July 2015
Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge Twelve Reasons to Die II
07 July 2015, 09:35 Written by Janne Oinonen
There are no stunning levels of innovation and originality evident on Twelve Reasons to Die II; Ghostface Killah has been frequenting similarly gristly and gun-wielding organised crime milieu throughout his solo career, notably on 2006’s drug-slinging opus Fishscale.

Starring Wu-Tang Clan partners Raekwon (voicing the character of gangster overlord Lester Kane) and RZA (as the narrator), however, the sequel to 2013's Twelve Reasons to Die is anything but routine and phoned-in. Mr. Killah and co. (also starring Bilal, Lyrics Born and Vince Staples) deliver this blood-splattered, supernaturally spiked tale of mafia war, revenge, comeuppance and resurrection via the spinning of 12" dusty vinyl records (it all makes sense, honest) in mid-70's New York with such teeth-gritting relish you'd half expect some microphones may have been harmed in the high octane process.

Written and orchestrated by Adrian Younge, the dramatic and lush-yet-uncluttered musical settings underline the narrative's rich cinematic qualities. At their finest - the grand sweep of "Let the Records Spin", the tense “Return of the Savage” - the proceedings bring to mind the dense and unsettling aural stew that the RZA built out of vintage soul samples for 1993's seminal Wu-Tang debut Enter The 36 Chambers. Only this time around, the grooves are constructed with live instrumentation.

A fine follow-up Sour Soul, the increasingly prolific Ghostface Killah's equally funky collaboration with BADBADNOTGOOD that popped out only a few months ago, Twelve Reasons to Die II suggests that breaking new ground might be a futile undertaking if there's this much juice left in the good old tricks.

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