The first six volumes in the late great MF DOOM’s instrumental series, spread across three CDs. The first Special Herbs comp was conceived by DOOM and Peter Agoston (he now manages Dam-Funk and Anika among others) for Agoston’s then-new Female Fun records as a showcase for DOOM’s production across various projects. It eventually spawned 10 volumes, collecting beats from DOOM’s various pre-2005 projects (Take Me To Your Leader, Mm..Food, Operation Doomsday and more). The influence of these tracks is ubiquitous in 2021 but it’s worth noting that at the time, a lot of the types of records DOOM was flipping in his beats were generally considered persona non grata in sampling culture… the likes of Hall & Oates, Phil Collins and Sade (yes… insane, I know) were considered too corny, too smooth, or too 80s to deserve a place on SP-12 memory disks; DOOM recognized this gap in the market and amassed a catalog of undeniably potent and highly-listenable beats. Fast forward to 2021 and this rulebook has been torn up several times over, but DOOM’s influence still looms large over the viral lo-fi beats and vaporwave trends of the past few years, almost as far-reaching as his influence as a rapper. We don’t stock many CDs at the Lab these days but the Special Herbs series has been a cherished CD vibe for us for a long time… something about the overall mood and sequencing of these beats really lends itself to the compact disc format. R.I.P. to a legend, we'll be wearing the shit out of these CDs and wiping them clean with our t-shirt for decades to come. Recommended.
reviewed by Fusilli Jerry 03/2021