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The best kept secret in music


"CMJ the music report"

Maybe once a year a record hits your mailbox out of the blue that completely knocks you on your ass. This EP by Brooklyn's PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW (lyricists Voodo FE' and Taron Benson) is that record, imbued with undeniable old-school vibes and refreshing next-school vision. Comprised of nine tracks (plus an excellent remix of "WHEN I'M DRUNK"), each cut displays such range and skill that it brings a smile to your face. Voodo Fe' is less serious but not frivolous, usually working in a flow that mixes Busta Rhyme with either Red Rat or Beenie Man, killing it equally, fast or slow. Benson is one of the dopest and strongest female MC's out there, right alone with Rah Digga, old-school Latifah and Lyte. Recommended cuts: the drum 'n' bass deepness of "GET EM"; the funny recollections of "SEX"; the fast, kinetic "WE DO" and the cool sexy groover "PUSH PUSH". - BRIAN COLEMAN

"Repellent Sounds Magazine"

Genre-defying feats are hard to come by in the ever-narrowing hip hop offerings these days. Thankfully, the musical influences in PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW'S "Different They Think" read like a list of the sections at your favorite dj record store. Buzzy drum&bass-ish synth basslines snake their way through dirtysouth crunk- funk beats, and dubbed out guitar licks and dancehall style vocal hooks all converge to form a backdrop for hard-edged hip hop lyrics. Notably, P.A.T.S. is a co-ed duo, another hiphop anomaly, which they work to their benefit in a heavily hormonal dialogue. Song topics range from a first sexual experience ("Sex") to the beer-goggle effect ("When I'm Drunk"). "Push Push" is a standout, with it's native- tongue inflected track. But its playful daisy age vibe doesn't really seem to belong on this more Outkast-flavored release. Overall, a solid first effort, "Different They Think" falls short of brilliant, but shines in it's open-mindedness, diversity, and honesty ... which is different, I think. - dj scribe


There's a new sound emerging out of Brooklyn. If you are a New Yorker, then you
know that the music scene here is at a cross-road. New artists and groups are not just
expanding the horizon of their musical styles; they are straight up re-inventing the
music scene. Gone are the boundaries that once locked up music. Today's artist freely
merges and experiments with all genres, looking to craft something totally unique.
Several are trying to make this happen. One that has succeeded is "PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW," a group that you will be hearing much more of in the future. Taron Benson and Voodo Fe' Mathelier are the leads in the dynamic Brooklyn band. After representing lovely with an east coast college tour where they opened for groups such as Run DMC, Naughty by Nature and Me shell Ndegeocello, the two have now begun the next movement to bring the world a fresh sound, blending styles of hip-hop, Drum&Bass and Caribbean flavors.

“PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW” come off like some futuristic Bonnie & Clyde, running through the competition with their dark, sexy style.  As I listened to their CD, it was raining slightly outside, and I had some sandalwood incense burning, to break up the stale air.  As soon as the CD started, it seemed as if the room was waiting for its theme music to start, so that it could come alive.  Really though, this is some seriously cool shit!  The first track “Get ‘Em” hit the walls like a wrecking ball, swinging its hard acid synth lines up against the hyped up percussion tracks and tearing down anything in its way.  Taron and Voodoo begin to warn all the party people that when their in the spot, you better check your partner, because they just might “Get Em”!  But it was the next track that did it.  “Existence” slinks up with its warm, fuzzy, muted guitar lines and then BOOM, Taron comes through with the floating chorus.  This is like some funk-rock new millennium slow jam for you mind!  Next is the super slick “Push Push” a song about a simple train ride that turns into a sexy scene.  If only every N train ride was so satisfying. The last track is another example of Phoenix and the Shadow rocking their “Trippy Star” style on “You Don’t Hear Me Though” with the ill stuttering hats, flipping back and forth in the track while Taron and Voodo drop science that goes unheard.   This is one of the coolest CDs out. - Laron




Feeling a bit camera shy


Brooklyn's own PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW, the King and Queen of THE NEW HIP HOP, has released DIFFERENT THEY THINK (DARK THEORY RECORDS) one of the most creatively smart, genre bending CD's of the year. Exploring many human emotions, DIFFERENT THEY THINK , released in May 2003, gives a refreshingly honest look at day to day living. This is seen on their songs "SEX", a track about a person's first time having sex and again in their club anthem "WHEN I'M DRUNK", a song about how good a person looks after you've had to much to drink. Backed by a live band, PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW have developed their own sound they call "TRIPPY STAR", which uses the aggressive drum patterns of Drum&Bass and the Caribbean undertones of Reggae.

PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW is lead by Taron and Voodo Fe', a unisex mc duo. They utilize this as one of their greatest strength giving both the female and male prospective. Taron, a professional fitness trainer, drops a smooth delivery and sexual flow without having to wear a g-string on stage. Off stage, she has a laid back character, but when a mic is in front of her... MY GOD, the beast comes rushing out of her. Voodo Fe', a fashion designer who has designed the 'NEW JERSEY NETS' current uniforms, the boxing shorts and robe for EVANDER HOLYFIELD in his fight against MIKE TYSON FIGHT (yes...the infamous one where HOLYFIELD was mauled). He has also designed for AVIREX, DAMIMI DADA AND DAVOUCCI. Clearly the weirdo of the two, Voodo Fe', who once had his elbow pierced, will give you all he has on or off stage... like it or not.

As mention, PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW, is backed by a 4 piece live band, another anomaly in hip hop. Their powerful live show has been compared to 'THE ROOTS' meeting
'RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE'. PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW, surprisingly, don't brag about how tight their show, they rather prove it, and prove it is what they do every time on stage. Opening for RUN-DMC, NAUGHTY BY NATURE and MESHELL N'DEGEOCELLO, their live show is off the rack and is a fill good experience that many other hip hop shows lack.

PHOENIX AND THE SHADOW's DIFFERENT THEY THINK is a Different sound, a Different look and Different approach to music... and not just hip hop music. It's escort
'THE NEW HIP HOP' into the ears of listeners that want to be refreshed and cleansed from the usual of hip hop.