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CD REVIEW: Catastrofiks - "The Cirrcus"
By Gian F - 10/12/2005 - 06:04 PM EDT

Artist: Catastrofiks
Album: "The Cirrcus"
CD Review: Genre: Rap
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 7
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7
Commercial Value: 7
Overall Talent Level: 7
Songwriting Skills: 7
Performance Skill: 8
Best Songs: Comin In, The Cirrcus, Get Up, Heyyo, Our Turn
Weakness: Too many tracks/Needs stronger songs/Better engineering and mastering
CD Review: I often receive CDs from artists when I have speaking engagements. What most of them don't know - or expect - is that I usually put those CDs in my deck the minute I get back to my car. Often times I do it because I simply want to know if the CD warrants my attention. That's what I did when I received a project from Mike Fiebach, a student at San Francisco States Music Recording Industry Program, and a native of Philadelphia.

His rap group, the Catastrofiks, produced and independently released their debut LP which contains 19 tracks, most of which have a distinctive Philadelphia flavor. Since rap is like soul food - prepared the same but containing different ingredients - his group showcased the primary ingredients needed for a commercially successful hip hop act: the ability to flow with confidence and conviction.

Their tracks, "The Conception," and "The Cirrcus" quickly and easily put them in the ring with the most potent rappers on the airwaves (or underground for that matter), but it's their most commercial track, "Comin In," that establishes them as innovators of their own "brand." It's radio friendly and would make the perfect first single.

If they deepen their repertoire of commercially viable tracks, and dispose of the extraneous ones, they will have all they need to run away and join the cirrcus that we call the music business.

Advice: Focus on the quality, not the quantity of tracks that you put on your next project.

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