Beastie Boys The Mix Up (Capitol) Hip hop always seems to attract entrepreneurial types, whether it's Sean 'Diddy' Coombs launching fragrances or 50 Cent flogging soft drinks. The Beastie Boys have already been there and done that, and now they're taking the uncommon step of reinventing themselves as an instrumental band. Previous albums such as 1992's Check Your Head and the follow-up, 1994's Ill Communication, combined the Beasties' hare-brained samplings with Michael Diamond on drums, Adam Horovitz on guitar and Adam Yauch on bass to startling effect, adding a layer of exquisitely organic grooves behind the usual banter. The Mix Up is the first time the threesome have sat down to make a purely instrumental record, and it's a shame they don't do so more often. Joined by luminaries such as keyboardist Money Mark and percussionist Alfredo Ortiz, the results reveal a much more refined band who have mastered their art. The music veers from the sultry wah-wah pedal and Rhodes organ combination of Electric Worm to the likes of Off the Grid, a dual personality freak out that begins life as a slow, west coast groove that would be at home on any Greyboy Allstars record - but then mutates into an electrified stomp. It's a welcome return to the unfussy, lazy beats, funky guitar chops and driving bass lines of a decade or so ago, particularly after 2004's sparse, monochromatic To the 5 Boroughs. While that record's lo-fi arrangements provided the Beasties a platform with which to lament the poor state of the hip hop scene, here they demonstrate their immense value by abandoning vocals altogether.