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The Mix-Up

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The grizzled wiseacres’ second wordless disc, The Mix-Up, reaches back to hip-hop’s prehistory for a dozen lightweight psychedelic funk instrumentals?the sort of thing the Beastie Boys might have dug up on a mildewed 45 for a sample back in their Paul’s Boutique days. But they don’t quite have the rhythmic mojo of the circa-1970 obscurities they’re imitating here, and many tracks are exercises in texture (dub bass! sitar noodling!) that fail to develop into actual tunes. Who’d have guessed that a Beastie Boys record could be too subtle? C+