MED is west coast MC Medaphoar. He made his debut back in 1999 on the Lootpack album Soundpieces: Da Antidote. His track, Level Zero features Oh No(half of duo Gangrene and son of jazz trumpeter John Faddis). He shares post among SoCal’s(via Oxnard) vanguard including Madlib, Wildchild, and Oh No. This 2009 single is guaranteed the fire-y rap style from MED and the solid production of Madlib. Solid A & B sides, clean versions, and instrumentals delivered to add some rap slices to your menu.
Who is DJ Qbert? He is San Francisco[Excelsior neighborhood] native, Richard Quitevas. He is a member of the legendary Rock Steady Crew, co-founding member Invisibl Skratch Piklz, and world renown DMC Champion. It has been over 15 years since his last solo release, Wave Twisters (1998). This past summer he mobilized his fan base and generated over $100,000 to fund this double album project through social fundraising site, Kickstarter. Extraterrestria is one half of the project, GalaXXXian being the other half. Qbert is agile and adept. He builds a story of terrains, starting in the desert [1,2,4] in the east to western windstorms to surf the deep sea waves . Qbert scratches out percussion [3, 8, 10], let’s the graffiti go in Gotham city, and gets galactic . Besides a few vocal samples, all tracks are instrumental. Extraterrestria sets the scene for DJ Qbert to capture your soul with Kung Fu master style Karate kuts, a fury of flicks in the mix, and scissor swift swipes.
GalaXXXian is one half of the double release from DJQbert[Invisibl Skratch Piklz, SF]. It appears that Qbert has partnered up with his homies. The artists & MCs obviously have a mutual respect for Qbert’s obvious skills. Emcee Roscoe Umali[1,12] has a vocal style and sound that I thought sounded along the lines of AWOL One, so it was no surprise he is out of LA. Kool Keith drops the sci-fi freak out. Del delivers galactic ganja raps. Use caution with the sexually illicit track, Kooty Kat ,courtesy of P.E.A.C.E., of Freestyle Fellowship. Mr. Lif rocks the mic while El-P mixes up some nostalgia reminiscent of Blue Flowers. Beats go from classic bboy breaks[12, 8] to hard hitting bongo bangra-esque  beats. Launch GalaXXXian and take a journey with astronomical MCs and scratch commander Qbert. FCC: 3,4,6,7,8,10,12 Intro:11
Chrystal Oaks is Swedish rapper, Prosperous. According to his bandcamp page, Prosperous has been on the Swedish Rap Scene in crews PLANT OF TRAILS, ASSIMILATED SPECIES, and BRIEFCASE ROCKERS. This release is from the Finnish Hiss Tapes cassette label. Considering that Prosperous has collaborated with Subtitle, it’s no surprise that the tracks are experimental and alternative hip hop. There isn’t little to interpret, his skills rapping in English are clear. There are noisier elements in several tracks, begging the question as to what is used in production. With a growing trend in indie hip hop heading towards angst/rap/scatter/assault, this cassette is refreshing. It’s more palatable for those fearful of the more aggressive sounds. I am looking forward to learning more about Prosperous, his previous releases, and the Swedish rap scene.
This is a Record Store Day 2013 collaboration between the Seattle based label Light In The Attic Records & the Thai label ZudRangMa. Compiled on this release is a collection of recordings produced by Theppabutr Satirodchompu. The Molam sounds is rooted in Loas, was traditionally folk music, and includes several genres (poetical, storytelling, country poetry, theatrical troupe, shadow puppet, and healing). Theppabutr Productions was born from a career as a musician, heavily influenced by the popular US sounds, then radio & television. He began to Disc Jockey; spinning US hits that influenced his sound. He moved on to TV where his band would play as the featured act. Theppabutr brought the eastern Thai or Isan to radio and TV. His path led to recording and producing musicians and artists, creating a network of Molam musicians. Through adversity, he became the pioneer in modernizing the Molam sound. Traditional instruments get the experimental treatment, the thai folk sound gets funked up.
This is RP Boo’s first solo release. Previously his work has been featured on Planet Mu comps. He is known as a pioneer of the Chicago electronic beat movement known as footwork. Footwork is truly a genre of it’s own. The dance that accompanies these sounds blends house and breakdance into it own spastic footwork based style, hence the name. It is frenetic, repetitive, disjointed, rhythmic, anti-rhythmic, and much more or less. Boo is a zeitgeist for this scene.
This is the cassette release of the 2012 album. This cassette comes to KFJC via Hiss Tapes a label out of Finland. White Mic is one of the original members of Bored Stiff. White Mic delivers a direct take on aging in the independent hip hop world. With little effort he takes strides approaching the subject. There is no burden to carry in his endeavor to articulate this paradigm. He is clear in his delivery. This is a refreshing voice from a man in an genre in which the artists or MCs don’t get infinite opportunities to withstand the changing of the culture. The sound is filled with nostalgic but innovative beats and delivery while remaining grounded. Tune in to this and turn it up.
This is very new york, east coast, big horn, banging, hog style, hip hop. All star packed guests [Smif & Wessun, Tony Touch, Nroeaga, Black Thought, Prodigy, Raekwon, Talib Kweli…] Even the Alchemist makes an appearance. Expect some of the cleanest rpoduction & seasoned sampling, from SS, veteran from the golden era of hip hop. Not anyone can get as close to this sound and the all star cast of MCs. So lock it in on extended play.
Fave tracks: 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
I am having the hardest time writing this review while listening to the music. It is ADHD on ectasy. It’s hyperactive with moments of subtlety. But like a pre pubescent teen in a room with the opposite sex, there is an impulse to slobber all over the beauty in the room. I think in a few years it will be worth another go around. It’s not genius, but for what it amounts to as juvenile, it’s equally cute and strange. Fortunately, you don’t have to face a mouth full of braces to dive into this.
This the latest from the Doomtree Family though it is from 2011. Several of artists are touring this year and have work in cue. This release doesn’t rely heavily on a studio sound. So be thankful. It’s got bang and bass; clever cadences and quick wit. I kind of think this stands apart from the artists’ solo releases because of the team spirit. That energy is clearly what makes the label and the artists stand apart. So keep your ears on the next from this team- solo or collabo: Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, Mike Mctlan, Dessa, Sims, Paper Tiger, & P.O.S..
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.
INSTRUMENTAL: 5, 15, 21
FCC:1, 7, 8, 10, 13, 16, 17, 22
FAVE: 2, 5, 19, 21,22
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File