Wu-Tang, Chamber Music, Limited Edition, Silver Vinyl, LP, Reissue, HHC, 2023
As a group the Wu-Tang Clan might be finished, but as a musical philosophy, the brand is alive and well. For proof you need to look no further than Chamber Music, a 2009 cooperation overseen by Wu-Tang architect RZA. Engineered by a team of understudies (Andrew Kelley, Noah Rubin, Fizzy Womack, Bob Perry), these are the kind of beats that Wu-Tang diehards crave. In the mold of classic RZA productions, “Kill Too Hard,” “Sound the Horns,” and “Ill Figures” are nocturnal and edgy, like blaxploitation albums broken into shards and recast in shadow. While not all members of Wu-Tang participate, the crew’s most street-oriented rappers are on hand. Their numbers are strengthened by an additional cast of elder New York City rappers, who appear as war veterans, reminding the listener of a time when hip-hop upheld a different set of values. While not as listenable as the group tracks, RZA’s between-song interludes nonetheless represent Wu-Tang’s subterranean, almost avant-garde state of mind. Chamber Music proves that even if Wu-Tang ceases to exist the group’s ideas shine eternal.