Genius / GZALiquid Swords Chess Box
Cerebral and precise with his words like a shaolin swordsman, GZA crystallized a range of influences, from chess to kung-Fu and mob films to Eastern philosophy. The album features appearances by the entire Wu-Tang Clan, including the memorable debut of Killah Priest on “B.I.B.L.E.”
As GZA explains in the “Chess Box” liner notes, as told to writer Chris Faraone: “The music was solely [RZA’s] vision,” GZA says of his cousin, who recorded the project in his basement apartment on Staten Island. “I see him as an equal partner in this endeavor. RZA was sitting on a goldmine of music that was just waiting for lyrics.”
Selwyn Seyfu Hinds stated in The Source upon the album’s release in 1995: “Let these numbers put things in perspective: 1 year, 4 solo albums from a nine-man crew, 60-plus tracks from one producer, over 2 million units moved. Now Liquid Swords, the long-awaited release from Genius [GZA], puts the cap on a period that will certainly be remembered as a definitive hip-hop moment.”
After the success of its Ol’ Dirty Bastard Return to the 36 Chambers deluxe edition wallet / ID card reissue from 2011, Get On Down’s “Masters Series” is proud to unveil the latest in its painstakingly-crafted Wu-Tang Clan reissue line. Housed in a sturdy, wrapped hard-board, two-piece box, this sumptuous edition of Liquid Swords spans across 2-CDs. Disc One contains the official album version while Disc Two contains the full album instrumentals, available for the first time ever. Both discs have been completely restored with remastered audio from the original source tapes.
As with all Get On Down “Masters Series” deluxe releases, this Liquid Swords “Chess Box” set is packaged with an array of extras, including: in-depth 20-page liner notes booklet with GZA interview by Chris Faraone; inner jackets and dust sleeves with artwork from the original LP release and promotional singles; and, most impressively, a full mini chess set, which can be played on a chess board printed directly on the inner lining of the box cover.
To complement the 2-CD “chess box,” Get On Down is releasing the album instrumentals on vinyl in separate packaging as a double-LP set, with one black vinyl, one white vinyl, and silk-screened jackets by ANTI design.
Get On Down will announce details closer to the July 24 release date, but there will also be a special, very limited edition silk-screened 24” x 24” black and white print (by ANTI design) available only for those purchasing CD *and* LP editions on the label’s soon-to-be-relaunched website.
Whether you are new to the majesty of GZA and Liquid Swords or a Wu disciple who purchased the cassette in 1995 and wore it out, you will find plenty to enjoy in this stunning and reverent deluxe edition.