We don’t often talk about covermount CDs here, and I suppose most of them aren’t worth a lot of attention, but I have one here that made me go out and buy a few albums by the people on it, so I think it’s worth highlighting here.

The free magazine with it is Hip Hop Connection, which is not much of a bonus, though it is an improving mag, with some decent writing here and there (I liked their Eminem review, for instance). But when you only pay £3.25 for a CD, you can hardly complain if the attached mag isn’t too great. The point is the music, and here it’s from two closely related (in that the owners are brothers) labels, and the artistes are at least partly shared. Psycho+Logical belongs to Necro, and as you might guess from the name, he is very into horror – this is the hip hop equivalent of Scandinavian death metal or some such, all horror movie quotes and dramatic, scary music. There seem to be some associations with Slipknot and Anthrax. Frankly it’s pretty laughable lyrically, and I’m not sure why I like it here and not in metal – probably just because I love hip hop and dislike heavy metal, and find this strong and forceful rather than lumbering.

It was the Uncle Howie half that made me buy some CDs, though, especially by Non Phixion – though most of the other tracks here are by the members of that group, producer and label owner Ill Bill, Goretex, Sabac. They’re white Jewish guys from NYC, and although there are still Death Rap aspects, they sound kind of like the Wu. That’s what hooked me, I guess – I’m generally more interested in hip hop for the sound than the rhymes, and rarely pay that much attention to the lyrics, unless they grab my attention and convince me I should. Here it’s the sinister and potent beats that grabbed my interest, kind of hungrier post-RZA style, and I can firmly recommend Non Phixion’s The Green CD (and the earlier The Future Is Now sounds about as good), which is going straight into my 2004 top ten. If you like NYC hip hop, this sampler is very much worth trying, for the price of a CD single.