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the seminal track that fused DJ scratching with Herbie's
jazz tinged analog synthesizer experiments over a drum
machine. The amazing remix 'Rockit (Megamix)' is also
quite stunning with some very creative use of samples
(ahead of its time).
The problem is that whoever remastered the music follows
the modern trend of overcompressing the music, draining
all dynamic range out of it to increase the apparent loudness.
This makes the music jump out at you, but it's very
tiresome on the ears and drains the life out of it.
Personally, I can't even listen to the CD anymore.
I would recommend prospective buyers pick up one of the old
school hip hop compilations with Rockit on it instead
(the other tracks on the LP/CD haven't aged as well)
Future Shock was a new sensation when released in early 1983, as Herbie Hancock (and his Rockit band) & Bill Laswell teamed up to deliver electronics with funk, fusion and a sprinkling of avant-garde.
Rockit garnered a Grammy award for best R&B instrumental performance, while the video captured five awards - including Video of the Year - in the first MTV Video Music Awards show.
The CD has five cuts sandwiched between Rockit and Rockit (Mega Mix), the latter not on the original release. A true gem is Future Shock, a Curtis Mayfield composition. Earth Beat and Rough pump the funk through the speakers, while Hancock lets the jazz notes do the talking in T.F.S. and Autodrive.
That the collaboration of Hancock and Laswell was unable to reproduce the magic in subsequent releases speaks greatly about the quality found in Future Shock.
Rockit is fairly representative of the albums electro/hip hop content but other tracks such as Earthbeat and Rough go much deeper to incorporate ambient and even world music. The title track is like electro vs. a rather camp P-funk!
The main strength of this album for me is that has a completely unique atmosphere that it maintains throughout. It is rather like a strange alien landscape- it provides excellent escapism because of the inhuman feel created by the stiff rhythms and huge warm soundscapes. FUNK is the key word here, meaning that the album has only dated in an academic sense.
It is impossible to turn off. It is definately recommended for the car. In my opinion the Rockit megamix is the only track that has dated to the point of embarassment- the title gives it away! Every other track though remains classic electro. F-F-F-F-Fresh!
"Rockit" is of course a scratch icon song of it's day-the song that altered Herbie Hancock's entire musical priorities while at the same time maintaining a bluesy jazz melody amid all the vocoder,synthesizers,drum machines and turntabling from DST.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ever wanted to hear Herbie's take on hip-hop? Yeah, neither did I. Despite that, I love the infamous "Rockit!", with scratching, vocoder, and Herbie's awesome synthesizer part. Read morePublished on December 13, 2007 by finulanu
I'd like to defend this album, because between his more mellow jazz albums of the 70s and what he's doing now in 2005-2006, this 1983 album is still one one of my favorites from... Read morePublished on April 9, 2006 by Preston
IF THE NAME HERBIE HANCOCK DOESN'T GET YOU TO BUY IT,THEN "ROCK IT' MUST. REMEMBER THE VIDEO?Published on October 23, 2005 by Angel Ortiz
THIS IS FUNKY STUFF!!A little Material,a little Kraftwerk
and ALOT of Grandmixer DST's scraching up against Herbie's
synthesizers and catchy tunes. Read more