KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Durag Dynasty- 360 Waves (2013) Hip Hop 12 inch lp

rasbabo   2/2/2015   12-inch, A Library, Hip Hop

Durag Dynasty (Doo-Rag) is new to me but after
hearing this album I would be willing to be sized
for the appropriate headwear. Heavy flows and
abstract beats. Not much dancing here, but a bit of
head bobbing. ‘Topper’ rap about how these MC’s
are better than the rest. Beats are samples and loops
that work as backbones for the lyricists and their
guests, some fatter than others.
Good tunes for when you’re sitting at the gas
station, sippin a cold one, waiting for your crew to
arrive.
I liked sides C and D most. (Tracks 9-15)
ALL TRACKS HAVE LANGUAGE – FCC

DJ Baku – “Goth-Trad, Saidrum, Bleeder” – [Self-release]

Thurston Hunger   1/30/2015   CD, Hip Hop


Y2K! Turn of the milennium, turntablism. Actually two disks,
the first one preferred by me with some fine flickery of the wrist
on steel wheels! Fader, pitch and other patches over tracks that
are already pretty heady. I could see a lot of people plying
the 2nd “Instrumental” disk with their own samples/mixes dropped
on top, or even just letting them run alone. Honestly, I’m a
little turned around, I think the instro disk is a bunch of pieces
by three different Japanese producers (Goth-Trad, Saidrum and
Bleeder) and then Baku busts out the ju-scatch-jitsu on the
first disk. If so, Bleeder’s two pieces are deep and dark,
“Wrong Trousers” moving through movie scores and stringing
tension, and “Rendomaccesssample” floating a funky flute through
a searching bass line. Really all six tracks are pretty dark,
Goth+Trad opens icily (sample from a Scooby Doo drop?) and
his closer “Alchemy” slow as a mad scientist walking up the
steps to his mountain top laboratory. Saidrum with two
“Eartifacts” the first found percussion in the world, maybe
a pachinko parlor? The second, an ear-worm burrowing bass, with
breathing appartus and chimes added on. All tracks are solid
but the scratching (and dropping in some vocals, maybe Dose One,
help make the first disk a wilder ride. Check out what he does
with the “Wrong Trousers” enhanced beyond mere pants! Zipper
cuts included! Looks like Baku has his own Pop Group imprint
still rolling, curious to see if he’s still on the experimental
tip. This was a nice find in the used bin by our Music Dept
truffle-sniffers! -Thurston Hunger

Medaphoar – “100 Dolla Bill” – [Stones Throw]

MSTiZA   1/7/2015   12-inch, Hip Hop

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.

DJ Qbert – “Extraterrestria” – [Thud Rumble]

MSTiZA   11/3/2014   CD, Hip Hop

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[5] to surf the deep sea waves [9]. Qbert scratches out percussion [3, 8, 10], let’s the graffiti go in Gotham city[6], and gets galactic [7]. 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.

DJ Qbert – “GalaXXXian” – [Thud Rumble]

MSTiZA   11/3/2014   CD, Hip Hop

GalaXXXian is one half of the double[2014] 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[2] drops the sci-fi freak out. Del[9] delivers galactic ganja raps. Use caution with the sexually illicit track, Kooty Kat [3],courtesy of P.E.A.C.E., of Freestyle Fellowship. Mr. Lif[4] 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 [5] beats. Launch GalaXXXian and take a journey with astronomical MCs and scratch commander Qbert. FCC: 3,4,6,7,8,10,12 Intro:11

T-White – “Gift Vol. 5!, The” – [Fatbeats]

Thurston Hunger   10/23/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop


Instrumental hip-hop, short and upbeat, slip the needle
scratch the service. The dance floor is denied in these
short cuts with long memories (did I hear Flip Wilson as
Geraldine on “Discovery”). “Eternal Lee” has some pretty
majestic moves inside, “Ow!” doesn’t hurt (although a
cartoon baby bird was crushed by the heavy drum and piano
drop on top), a French discussion gets woven in between the
beats on that. The lead-off track makes you think DJ Shadow
meets comedy, samples are less ear-popping after that, but
definitely a fun and creative vibe. Yeah, there’s cowbell
sampled and apparently some organic elements as well
(behold the Old Nasty Organ), hard to pull everything
apart. T-White is a Chicago operative…damn shame KFJC’s
Spiderman is not around for this House Shoes party mix.

-Thurston Hunger

Odd Nosdam Featuring Jessica Bailiff – “Untitled Three” – [Anticon.]

abacus   10/15/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

god damn is this a collaboration to write home about. Odd Nosdam stands at the helm of hip-hop’s avant-garde with his crooked, broken, bottom heavy beats pickin hard at the heart strings; add Jessica Bailiff’s distant dream-laden vocalizations to open and close and a lethal injection of instrumental beauty from herself and her partner in pageantry Jesse Edwards (not to mention local cat Dax Pierson cutting deep with the melodica and other goodies on a particularly moving track), and you get some of the most gorgeous production I’ve heard on anything that can claim street cred. passionate, raw, but dare i say ethereal? definitely not

MC Sub-Zero Permafrost & LYDSOD – “My Brass Instrument” – [LYDSOD]

mickeyslim   9/10/2014   7-inch, Hip Hop

Hip-hop/brass-band/psych/noise orgy! MC Sub-Zero Permafrost spits raps overmusic from the project LYDSOD (a very sarcastic acronym for Live Your Dreams Stay Off Drugs), an acid drenched psych coalition from Brooklyn.

Very high pitched vocals, not sure if it spins correctly at 33 or 45 (I think its 45). The tuba and trombone add a zesty spice to the hip-hop flavor. The B-side wanders a bit into the noisy side of things, which I know a lot will enjoy. Throw it on the turntable and enjoy..

FCC: Both sides :(

Automator, The – “Music to Be Murdered By” – [Homebass]

abacus   7/28/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

rare 1989 early tracks from bay area legend bringin us filthy fresh cuts of classic boom bap soul clap hip hop. old skool Emu emulations and scratch happy samplage with fluid rhyme schemes on Funky Sound and Dance, Murdered the busiest on the production. Bonus Noise dropping into instro tracks and a run in with APV Patrol along with some fine scratchables on the short track. throw on your Reeboks and Get Down to that triple-threat Jenny homicide

Aleister X – “Half-speed Mastered” – [MVDaudio]

humana   7/25/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

Aleister X has a British accent and performs in New York City, wearing black face paint and strange robes (hints of Cy Thoth, sans the voice). Rap is the most dominant medium here, although there are other elements to vary things. Lots of references to Beach Boys songs (“Bad Vibrations” and “California Gurls”). He worked with Lee Scratch Perry on the 2008 Repentance album.

Fresh Finesse – “You Ain’t Sayin’ Nothing” – [Micro Mini]

Naysayer   4/20/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

SO GOOD! Just SO GOOD!
It’s 1989. Some of you might still have your high top fade and some crazy baggy pants. You probably bought twelve inch vinyl singles. You may have even bought this by Fresh Finesse. Distributed by Trumpet Records from Fanwood, New Jersey, which kind of says it all, Finesse’s “You Ain’t Sayin’ Nothing” is the perfect sample of 1989 MCs, flyboys, breakbeat culture. Four versions of “You Ain’t…”, the story is pretty much about why FF is the one to listen to because he is the best and anyone else is going down. FF’s MC style is smooth and sure, easy to hear, clear and to the point. This is when fighting was done with words and the winner got to wear the biggest “gold” chain. Great beats. Sample from Gaz’s 1978 Salsoul recording “Sing Sing”. And there is a Bonus track that is all about FF sweet talking a girl, using so many lines to try and get her home and to be his. FF even rhymes “relinquish” with “extinguish”. Refrain is a male soul singer going on with FF’s message. Essential stuff. And when you all leave the station, I’ll lock the doors, put this on, pull out my piece of cardboard and breakdance the night away.

Blackhouse – “Blackhouse, The” – [Fatbeats]

rasbabo   4/9/2014   CD, Hip Hop

The Blackhouse-
???He do the cuts She do the beats??? DJ Romes and Georgia Anne Muldrow
A cool LP with funky beats and samples. Some tracks remind of of city sidewalk breakdancers bustin
moves on the cardboard. Others are deeper and stonier. Drop the needle and pick your potion.
My only regret is that some of the tracks are short; they get to the hook, roll on it a while and then fade
out. Wish they went further with some of these grooves, or bridged a few together.
Still good, still dope.
I liked the title track and the B-side most.
When America crashes and burns, we’ll all be in the Blackhouse.
Ras Babo

Chrystal Oak – “Post Romanticism” – [Hiss Tapes]

MSTiZA   4/9/2014   Cassette, Hip Hop

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.

RP Boo – “Legacy” – [Planet Mu Records Ltd.]

MSTiZA   4/2/2014   CD, Hip Hop

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.

Mr. Aeks and Opski Chan_Pushers and Prophets

japanic   2/3/2014   Hip Hop

As a supporter of local (Bay Area, CA) sounds there’s something that I find really satisfying about listening to import releases by your favorite hometown heroes. This cassette tape release limited to 100/100 comes to us by way of Hiss Tape of Finland. In 2014 do yourself a solid and peep this effort from 408 representatives (San Jose, CA) Mr. Aeks & Opski Chan. If you don’t know your South Bay underground rap timeline, Aeks has been doing dirt on underground rap joints since the 90’s – with his hand on production of some favorite classic & contemporary projects. Op has been dropping jewels on tracks since the 00’s – both on solo projects and collaborations. Pushers & Prophets is made up of the necessary ingredients for a classic underground SJ release – one part rugged rhymes & one part dope beats that will make your head nod; have you light one up or both. If you are unable to get your hands on a cassette copy you can find the digital version at http://opskichan.bandcamp.com/album/pushers-prophets

White Mic – “Fighting Off Success” – [Hiss Tapes]

MSTiZA   1/9/2014   Cassette, Hip Hop

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.

White Mandingos, The – “Ghetto Is Tryna KIll Me, The” – [Fat Beats]

honeybear   12/17/2013   CD, Hip Hop

Rap and Punk???? It???s Happened before, check out DeeDee King! Murs, Darryl Jenifer (Bad Brain???s Bassist), and Sacha Jenkins (former Rolling Stone journalist and VH1/MTV Producer) hit the ground running with this ???Fuck You??? to the music industry. Comprised into a concept album about a man named,Tyrone White. Who is a black man that is looked down upon in the Black Communtiy for loving Punk Rock and White Women. He starts a band and gets a deal, falls in love, battles the evil racism of the major record labels, and learning to except what you are/never bowing down to what other want of you. Kind of has the ???Tommy??? or ???Lola Verses Powerman??? vibe going. A lot of this album feels like filler, but the gems on here shine very bright. Nice mix of Hip Hop, Punk, Classic Rock & Reggae. Samples from harDCore Washington DC bands (Bad Brains and Minor Threat)! This was a pleasant surprise!

Mad Dukez + Fresh Kils – “Gettin’ Gatsby” – [Deep Thinka Records]

Dianthus   10/30/2013   CD, Hip Hop

Crossing over borders by way of musical hip-hop forces are the duo Fresh Kils and Mad Dukez. On Gettin’ Gatsby , Buffalo based rapper Mad Dukez explores some of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel by way of free-flowing lyrics about sacrifice, success , money and excess. His vocal style and charismatic flow shines on tracks like “Decadent Dilemma” and “Brother Bookie”. The album could not be complete without Toronto’s Fresh Kils operating the decks and setting the scene with fresh beats & well placed production to compliment Mad Dukez freestylin’ gab. Try and stand still while the funky drums set the stage for “Bootleg Bartender” but be ready to listen to this cd more than once to really start to like it.
-Dianthus-

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