Newcleus, Destination: Earth – The Definitive Newcleus Recordings

Brian Coleman

By Brian Coleman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

If you remember one Newcleus song, it's most likely going to be their epic 1983 radio smash, “Jam On It,” a cut that gave the world a gorgeous dose of electro hip-hop beauty. The track remains a breakdance classic to this day, mixing a basic, keyboard-plunked bassline, a frenetic drum program and loosey-goosey storyline by rapper Cozmo D (aka group leader Ben Cenac).

A gorgeous dose of electro hip-hop beauty.

But Newcleus wasn't defined by “Jam On It.” Much like their peers the Jonzun Crew, they were, at their core, a live funk band with electro leanings. If you step outside of “Jam On It,” you might just find yourself grooving to “Automan”: a great slice of electro-soul with driving drums and walls of keyboards. Or “Computer Age (Push the Button)” and “Cyborg Dance,” which are both funky sci-fi fantasies fueled by electonics and imagination. “Destination: Earth (1999),” on the other hand, goes a bit far afield, trapped in the middle of real funk and the computer-driven electro that they helped pioneer.