- Recorded live in Europe in Winter 1995; G-Son Studios, Atwater Village, California; Tin Pan Alley Studios, New York.
- Audio Remixers: Prunes; Prince Paul.
- Recording information: Easy Sounds Studio, Copenhagen, Denmar; G-Son Studios, Atwater Village; Live In Europe; Tin Pan Alley Studios, New York, NY.
- Photographer: Matt Horowitz.
- An addendum to their ILL COMMUNICATION album, ROOT DOWN continues the Beastie Boys' indie-spawned tradition of cramming a maximum of previously unavailable renditions onto what is essentially a maxi-single. So in addition to the three mixes of "Root Down"--the standard LP version, a beat-heavy, piano-ambient "Free Zone Mix" provided by The Prunes, and Prince Paul's "PP Balloon Mix," which percolates with choruses of grungy guitar loops amidst minimalist verses--the EP contains seven live tracks from the band's Winter 1995 tour of Europe. Just like their concerts, these selections are evenly split between between the Beasties' renewed fascination with hardcore punk, their developing aspirations to become a frazzled, hard-edged groove band (the punky punky Meters?), and their unique, well-developed take on hip-hop.
- ROOT DOWN's true, hidden gem is an unlisted track on which two Asian rappers do a short, foreign-tongued variation on the band's smash "So What'cha Want"--it may even be a radio advertisement. The idea may not be novel (De La Soul featured an all-too-similar track on their 1993 classic, BUHLOONE MIND STATE), but it is yet another example of how willing the Beastie Boys are to hand out props to modern musical innovators, as well as testing the innovations themselves.
NME (Magazine) (6/17/96, p.50) - 6 (out of 10) - "...masquerading as remix crew The Prunes, Mike D and his spliffed-up mates strip this souped-up lowrider of a tune into an ace ambient excursion which sets off the original rap against a sparkly mist of cool space-jazz..."