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Some say it’s an alter ego, I say it’s his genius. In 2011, RJD2 released this album as the Insane Warrior. It is supposedly inspired by 70???s sci-fi and horror flicks. The insanity may be the full indulgence , a head on leap into the lap of cheesy, whipped up, superr sick synth. I consider this more of a concept album. It has to be. The synth takes the spotlight. And when it does you get everything from blacksploitation, Beverly Hills Cop(3), 2001 A Space Oddessy(4), (1)Steve Wonder???s album, The Secret Life of Plants (one of my personal SW favorites), nearly the stairway to heaven on xylophone with rainsticks? NO? NO.. (6), yacht rock(7). Still RJD2 sounds are ever present(2) Six months ago this album was near rejection but second and thirds listens really made this album stick. AllI had to do is wait for it. All tracks instrumental.
What does the midwest and Halifax, Nova Scotia have in common? First, they are both light years from Hollywood. Second, it seems that the decca decade has yet to invade the culture. Hermit of the Woods, is Canadian rapper and spoken word artist who, in my opinion, cherishes the isolation from consumer culture. There is a mix of dark interludes with spoken word raps that will throw you back to the early aughts. The album is not perfect and it is better off for it. Track 2 reaches a place where it seems Busdriver met theDeftones in a smoky bar. But it works, only because it wasn???t the whole album AND there are music lovers who cream over that shit. Fortunately, other tracks may reminisce of Tricky, Sleep, and for that it???s a fair release. If Hermit stays in the woods, I expect it will just get better.
Bay Blue aka Matth, born Matt Chang. Roots out of the Bay Area via Pacifica. Here’s?? a record that the guy wanted to put out. The sample artist and producer has laid together a nice story. Rainy jazz mornings, mid-day blues breaks, kin folk freak out (sorta), to sunny afternoon big band all done with the greatest ease. No pretension, just a relaxed style that only a vinyl lover could do. This would have been a nice cassette.
The Georgia Sea Island Singers were a folk ensemble that formed in the early 1900s. They traveled performing songs. They are descendants of slaves who identify as Gullah. ??The members have changed over the years. There have been a handful of recordings. And the lineup has included Bessie Jones, Joe Armstrong, Mable Hillery, and Frankie SUllivan Quimby. This release was recorded by Alan Lomax in St. Simons Island, Georgia in Oct. ’59. Additional recording took place in April ’60 in Williamsburg Virginia. Alan Lomax was a musicologist, wtriter and producer who spent most of his life in the pursuit of archiving American folk musicians throughout the mid-south west and it’s nearing territories. his is a collaboration between Alan Lomax Archive and Mississippi Records. It’s is a beautiful testimony to the heritage that the Gullah kept alive.
Dessa, a member of the Doom tree family. Her sophomore release is much more achieved and matured. Possiby even too mature for non cmommercial radio. In no way is this an insult to either party. Simply, it begs the question- where do mature female rappers/song writers belong? In college radio? It’s moody and honest; sometimes story telling in song. A talented backing band creates the moods with guests like Cecil Otter on Mandolin.
About “America”, classically trained musician and composer, Dan Deacon writes that he never felt American until he left the United States. He continues that the composiitions are, at their core, “juxtapositions of fundamentally opposed ideologies that make up the American landscape”. There is a richness in the misanthropic beat that blends atypical beauty with a soft surrealism. He has done more accesible things in the past. This 2012 release isn’t a strech from his style, but an upward dog.
The Legend of Tashan Dorrsett takes the original album, minus the bonus tracks, and remixes them. This also features the instrumental remixes. If “The Legend of Tashan..” was a hobo. No, if “The :egend of Tashan..” was a prostitute, then this release is like letting her take a hot shower and buying her a new dress. Not dinner, just a shower and a new dress. Instead of dropping her off on her same old corner, she’s let loose on the small town boulevard where no one knows she’s more than familiar with the streets. At the local dive she’s exotic and the men lap at her heels. She gets to choose, instead of be chosen. All is good when an old bag still has new tricks. The Legend lets the beats shine, outfitting the instrumentals ??on it’s own 12″. Pimp it on clean sheets while you can.
FCC: A2, A3, A5, A6, B2, B5
Oh No, producer and rapper. 1/2 of the duo Gangrene [with the Alchemist], whose recently added picture 12″ got many plays at KFJC. Here is a 2009 release of music inspired and filled with samplings of rare 60s & 70s Ethiopian funk, soul, jazz, folk, & psychadelic rock. The track Xcalibur features samples of “A shweyna” by Mahmoud Ahmed. Juke Joint features samples from “Gubyle” by Mulatu Astatque. The grooves are gritty, the beats are fuzzed out. Mixtape shout outs commanderas stngers buzzing a fuzzy “Dr. No’s Ethiopium” in the same way that Tubby dropped a tape echo or Scientist sliced with the snare. Transport your self to the Horn of Africa, get rooted with one of history’s great kingdoms.
Vaughn Robert Squire is Canadian DJ/PRoducer/Rapper, Sixtoo. Before the Iphone, Ipod/pad, there was a generation of youth that used the walkman. During this era, in Hip Hop, you rocked a back pack. It contained what you ‘signified’: uni-wide, mean streak, black book, note book, walkman. These were the tools, the means were the hands. They threw up illegal art in public protest, nodded their vote in a battle, anchored bboys in their cyphers, and finessed a cut and scratch out of dad’s old record collection. The rhythm of life, coupled with reality’s blues, and backed by beats all paved an escape. The beats that Sixtoo filled this era with are heavy with nostalgia. Like spoken word, his raps are filled with emotion. Aggression, misanthropy, empathy, and compassion are themes lacing time together, giving insight into the subconscious of VRS and the post-golden era of hip hop.
Crash Normal have always been a duo, though they’ve not had the same line up over the last ten years. French guitar trash, at it’s finest. You like Sic Alps? They Mayyors, Alan Vega? Then lace up your Chanel booties, tie your gaultier scarf into a noose and get ready for some red light romping. There is no bass in this. Originally realeased on the european label, Born Bad. The track list on this Kill Shaman release varies, but is mostly confirmed. Beat it or eat it.
Rockers Vibration is an exclusive compilation from the studios of Michael Campbell aka Mikey Dread (RIP) on his Dread At The Controls label. If you are a fan of reggae music you will recognize nearly every artist and producer. You will hear the tape echo snare of Tubby’s style on the Ovation’s Shy Girl. Rod Taylor’s His Imperial Majesty is found on the full length from Taylor, Ethiopian Kings. Freezing is a classic and the studio session players are all stars on this one. Forever Love features classic Sly and Robbie. Hot Cross Bun is top notch. Sunshine’s Taking the World is a hit. Roll it up and enjoy.
It’s been a long time since Radioinactive has released new material (Soundtrack to a Book, 2006). The history of Radioinactive begins with Log Cabin Crew in the early 90′s and featuring Murs, Eligh, and Scarab. Later he collaborated with Awol ONE and MC Circus which would turn into the Shapeshifters, releasing The Planet of Shapes (1997), Know Future, and Shapeshifters Was Here (2007). These two collectives, out of LA, were centered around the underground hip hop mecca on the West Coast, the Good Life Cafe . Radioinactive has a distinct West Coast/So Cal style similar to other indie hip hop artists from the era/area. On The Akashic Record, Radioinactive pairs humor and and nostalgia with his a rhythmic, syncopated cadenced rap style. Akashic is a Sanskrit word meaning “aether” or rather “ether” in both its elemental and metaphysical senses. In hinduism, Akasha means the basis and essence of all things. It is the fifth element of life and it’s main characteristic is Shabda (sound). The Egyptian American/LA based artist, takes simple subject matter and merges middle eastern elements to west coast roots.
PGM: Track 3 Insturmental
Syria, a nation in Western Asia bordering Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq,
The Money Store was pre-released[500 copies] for Record Store Day 2012. If you aren’t familiar with Death Grips, they a Sacramento outfit consisting of vocalist Stefan Burnett aka MC Ride and Zach Hill of Hella. This has a grime element with out the speed and D&B drops. Burnett vocals are an anthemic force, his delivery commanding attention. Hill produces tracks that merge dub, noise, and industrial. This album is haunted and enchanting in the way that danger is hypnotizing, paralyzing.
Interludes After Midnight
NINJA TUNE [CD 2012]
Blockhead has returned from his solo hiatus. He returns to Ninja Tune to drop layered instrumentals laced with an ever present disquiet. If a modern day Jack the Ripper were stalking bboys, this would be in his iPod. Or it’s for the nostalgic misanthrope yearning for melody and lamenting the technographic age. Blockhead???s production creates refined atmosphere that takes you somewhere else, at midnight. You will find many references but plenty of originality to make it his own. 4 reminsces of the Nobody/Mia Doi Todd track on the KeepInTime No.2 Coll. All good.
Secret Stash[Minneapois, MN] ??has unearthed this guitar, horn, and groove driven soul funk from 1973. Originally released by Kabana Records and recorded in Ghana at Weird Sound Studios. It features William Edozie, Johhny Kpayie, Tyrone Patterson, and Richard Dejohnette. ??Edozie was also featured on Congas and Percussion on the Nigerian release, Someone to Love by Bassey Black. It’s my assumption that his ??skills were lent to the percussion on this release. Tyrone[T.R.] Patterson was credited with Producer on this, but also co/wrote several tracks on this album. You won’t find traditional African vocals. The west’s influence is stamped throughout “Body Music”. There are hints of Shuggie Otis[A3], Stevie [B1], Isaac Hayes/Shaft, and some Carribean rhythms with JBs style horns.
Instrumentals: A2, B2, B3
Teenburger is Ghettosocks, Timbuktu, and DJ/Producer Jorun Bombay. Timbuktu is a Swedish rapper and runs his own label, Juju Records [www.jujurecords.com]. Ghettosocks is Darren Pyper, member of the Canadian hip hop colective of DJs, MCs, and producers known as the Backburner Collective. DJ Jorun Bombay laid down his chops on the 1&2s in the mid 90s. The essence of this release stems from the era of hip hop directly predating and influencing Bombay’s emergence. The sound can found in the direct reference to the label, Dropping Science. Dropping Science was a Marley Marl and Craig G release in 1988. Ghettosocks and Timbuktu’s style of lyrical cadence and DJ Jorun Bombay’s production style honor Marley Marl & Craig G. To enjoy this release you, must recognize HH history. Marley Marl [haiing from Queens, NY] was known for the sound behind Gangstarr’s Check the Technique['91], founded of Juice Crew[80's], produced tracks for Biz Markie, Roxanne Shante, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, MC Shan, King Tee, and Masta Ace, and started started his career as a radio DJ on NY’s WBLS fm’s show Rapp Attack. Peep history’s influence. This release features many guests, including El Da Sensei.
Royal Trux femme fatale, Jennifer Herrema, laced up and jamming a 70′s rock and roll that bleeds TRex tears, thinner than Lizzy, grooves like Foreigner CAN’t, 80s anthem rock mixed with 00′s-oh nos. Is it serious? Well as serious as a hotboxed van with weed stuffed in the tires trying to make a road across the country, picking up hookers along the way.
Oh dreams. Deliver me from the monoconditioner that hums a familiar sound every time i listen to my heart. Oh dear, what is that?..? The star of this project is : CZESLAW NIEMAN and the 1975 album Mourner’s Rhapsody. The first song on the A side, “Lilacs and Champagne” rooted this trio of MADLIB [LOOTPACK] whose production stamp is complimented by Alex Hall[ GRAILS] and Emil Amos [OM]. Note that info on the release is limited. Beside the expansive production on this cross genre expansion of HH, noise, and experimentalism; Madilib is joined with two musicians infamously known for guitar and drums, respectively; in HOLY SONS. Mexican Summer has gifted listeners with a solid start to the next frontier in Hip hop. I’m not religious, but I await the renaissance; the Passion to the Endtroduction.
IWR*: western, werewolf dub; dinge-y vocals, on par with heroined out eastern male vocals. Is it a sample? Would the masses rest their heart strings upon purpose head and reference to death..muslimgauze, , and monks, frogs, organ, beats, the devil march in video/vacuum sample, soulful vox, and high hat sizzles. You may as well be bathing in his sweat. singalong start, dark dub like tracks will surprise you with sampes and shifts, but have no fear. preview on the jump trough tracks. you will not be disappointed by the laid back downtempo. psyche flare, flutter to false transitions. bequeath the quake.
*INFINITE WORD REVIEW
The album title is so true, for Neila (LA). This southern cali femme fatale has honed her skills for over a decade. She emerged in the mid-late 90′s on underground hip hop tapes. Her style is sing song-y and hypnotic, her material experiential. Her spirit animal could be the Tasmanian Tiger or Giant Walking Stick Insects both not native to our land and on the rise from the verge of extinction*. Her tone is understated, yet tough. Her style unsusual. Better late.. features many guests that KFJC HH heads will find familiar (AWOL, 2MEX, Existereo, & more). If you ever see a Neila tape, get your paws on it and pass it my way.
*NEILA is ALIEN in reverse and is a cancer survivor
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