I’ve been busy at work – but I felt like I needed to post up some tunes. I’m no longer doing grades because well…..I’m beginning to think scoring kinda degrade the process – I’m not Pitchfork.
I (and Dave for that matter) just post music for you to try out, something other than your usual. If you have any suggestions – firstname.lastname@example.org. And Dave – hit me up on the regular email…what are you up to?
Madlib – WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip
Yet another dope album from one of the more productive producer in music history. You’d think a person would get tired of working so much, or that people would get tired of him – but not so much. In fact, I’m disappointed when I don’t see something from him on the horizon. However, I have to admit this snuck up on me – a much appreciated surprise. This is basically an AM radio/hip hop mash up. It sounds like a small liberal arts college radio station, at 2 in the morning, that let Madlib come in with a crate and some friends, and play whatever he felt like playing on the fly. The sounds vary, but it’s still a cohesive piece. It’s a slightly disorienting listen upon first go-round, but at a minute, you begin to settle in. Dope.
Johnson & Jonson – (self-titled)
Official. For those not familiar with Blu from the Blu & Exile album, you should get on the bandwagon. Exile is out of the picture for the moment and replaced with Mainframe, a producer that I know next to nothing about. That being said – he is pretty dope: very sample heavy and layered, especially with the vocals. He doesn’t chop it up too much and too do much. He finds something dope and just loops it, with a few extras on it. Blu’s lyric game is basically top-notch, one of the best out there, at the moment – very honest, very skilled in all facets, and cocky, but in a regular guy kind of way. I’m not going to say it’s better than Below the Heavens, it’s just different. Quality cop.
I Led 3 Lives – Peace Now
An album I bought strictly on listening to the 30 second excerpts on iTunes. A very, very interesting hodge podge of genres: jazz, trance, electro, and maybe even some other things. Very New York City fusion. When you listen to the sounds with vocals, it sounds a little like Brazilian Girls….but then the next song goes in another direction. I finished listening to this album this morning, and I have to say it’s a bit disorienting in that it’s hard to know where you stand. I think this is something you just take in and kind of just….let it happen to you….and don’t analyze it too deeply. Good pickup.
These New Puritans – Beat Pyramid
The title explains it. It’s an album in which you listen and you wonder how it was made. It’s got a shock value in terms of extremes….it’s post punk done with an guitar, bass, a sturdy drum set, MPC 2000XL, and a disco ball. The topics range from sleeper cells connected to BBC journalist Alan Johnson to medievel numerology. It’s odd and familiar, and yet it makes sense. I suppose they are like Late of the Pier with less Prince/David Byrne inflections – but very aggressive and heavy, but brief. It’s like a tornado taking you up and you see a little dubstep…then a little Clash…and then you come down into some weird house you know isn’t yours. Very advanced and very good.
Terry Lynn – Kingstonlogic 2.0
It’s not raggae…it’s Jamaican….but this isn’t any love and peace joint. She talks real about what’s really happening in the Jamaica (and elsewhere) that people don’t like to discuss: the corruption and violence – the life outside of the all-inclusive beach resorts – all over dancehall-ish, R&B lite, even sometimes techy music. IMF, social and health care issues, consumerism, etc. It’s prolly going to be plopped in the Caribbean/Island/Jamaica/dancehall/dub corner….but it’s more than that. A lot of the time talking politics in songs can be a real task, but she makes it mostly dope. It’s not going to be for everyone, i.e. Dave. But to those into dancehall or dub music….might wanna check it out on iTunes.
throwbacks I’ve been listening to.
Eumir Deodato – Prelude
My first experience with Deodato is actually from my father, through Kool & The Gang albums. Later on in life, I found out more about him: a great Brazilian producer and jazz musician….proponent of the synthesizer. For those familiar with this particular album know about the dope opener: a jazz fusioned-out take on Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” The lineup he gathered for this album is nothing short of legendary: Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Ray Barretto and Airto Moreira among others. Definitive 70s music right here. Which leads to…
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
This album needs absolutely no intro. One of my favorite albums ever in life. I’m only putting this down because if you’re going to listen to Deodato – I would be totally remiss if I didn’t first recommend the definitive jazz fusion album (although this is more jazz-rock, tinged with electronic instruments). Cop the complete box set, if you can. If you have to start off a jazz collection – this wouldn’t really be the place to begin. However – it’s inevitable that you will cross this bridge.
The Pharcyde – Labcabincalifornia
For whatever reason I’ve been feeling some Pharcyde – and funny thing is that a lot of people don’t know that J Dilla produced this album. I have nothing more to say about this. If you don’t have this album, (or Bizarre Ride II), or at least some of the songs…you are lost, sir or ma’am.