Beats: 4.5   Lyrics: 3.5   Originality: 4

Following up his critically acclaimed debut Yen & Slang, Tack-Fu now presents his second compilation album, Chained Reaction.  I actually haven't heard his debut, so this was my first taste of Tack-Fu, and let's just say i'm very impressed.  Whenever the topic of the dopest underground producers comes up, this Iowa City native most definitely deserves to be mentioned among the top in his field.

After the instructional intro comes "Alter Beast," featuring one of the albums two vocal performances by emcee Joe Juggla.  With Alter Beast's amped up drum track and other lively sounds, this track fits very nicely with Joe's aggressive rhyme style as he shows he's one of the albums better emcees.

"Personality" and "My Poetry" both feature an emcee by the name of Angle.  Coming off lyrically dope on both his appearances, Angle is another one of the album's better emcees.  The production on "Personality" is also one of my favourite beats on the album.

"Matter of Time" features soon to be, if not already, legendary underground emcee, Braille.  This is easily the best track on Chained Reaction, with Tack-Fu providing the perfect backdrop of hard hitting drums and innovative loops.  Braille's performance is great, and this song rivals any of the tracks from his own Life First album.

One of the greatest things about Chained Reaction, is that it's split into two sides, with the second half of the cd being filled up with a multitude of incredibly dope instrumental tracks.  These aren't just songs without lyrics, they're much more.  Utilizing vocal samples from various sources such as documentary films, bible readings, and instructional records, Tack-Fu creates a spiritually influenced instrumental side.

One of the best instrumentals is "Proverbs 5", which features a biblical reading backed by orchestral strings and another great drum track.  The jazzy guitar that joins in near the end, closes this song out nicely.  "Spiral Accession" is another great track, this time laced with arabic chanting. 

One of my favourite instrumentals is "Earl-e Morning (wake-up!)". The track starts off with around 4 minutes of documentary audio, then transforms into a wonderfully strange concoction, similar to something Kid Koala would dream up.  The albums spaced out "Outro" is another one of the many standout tracks.

While Tack-Fu's consistently great production is the the definite strong point of Chained Reaction, most of the featured emcees play a nice part in the overall feel of the album as well.  Watch for Tack-Fu to blow up real soon, he has the talent to take this as far as he wants to.


You can purchase the physical cd on-line

or download this release