Mojo (Publisher) (p.95) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "RESURGENCE is as reassuringly future-proof as ever."
Audio Mixer: DJ Spinna.
If country music had the Flatlanders, Brooklyn-based duo Jigmastas could be nominated as hip-hop's own "more a legend than a band" band. Their last album, Infectious, came out in 2001, a time when they seemed a force of nature and had such great chemistry there was no reason to stop, but as the liner notes to Resurgence explain, members MC Kriminul and DJ Spinna were splitting their time between solo careers and Jigmastas work. With the latter being sacred, these perfectionists decided to wait until they had just the right album, one they dubbed Stellar, meaning Resurgence is all the extras that didn't make the cut. Some of these recordings date back to 2003, but the album flows extremely well, with MC Kriminul's changing vocal tone being one of the few tells (it sounds deeper on various cuts, as if he's suddenly aged and mellowed). These outtakes and strays also do a fine job representing the many Jigmastas flavors. Angry and angular, "The Outfit" could grind next to a brittle Death Grips song on any given mixtape, but "Penthouse" is a soulful cut that mentions the Fugees because it sounds like the Fugees, displaying that this underground crew can still pull a mainstream trick or two. They can go hard and long in the bedroom, too, with "Breather" coming off as De La Soul working some porno lyrics, and when it comes to cool, Kriminul is an underrated ambassador, delivering lines like "Black & Decker rapper, fully charged, you know the drill" ("Too Ill") with just enough self-awareness that it blooms into charisma. Coming at the end of it all is the group's cooled comeback single, "Resurge," which ranks with their best. An instrumental version of the album is included as a bonus. Add it all up and the set is a more-than-worthy holdover, and a clearinghouse that will delight fans, along with funky newcomers. ~ David Jeffries