I’ve been too busy to write – and I’m still too busy…but why not. Stay with me because we are going hard on this one…I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff:
Black Milk – Tronic
I’ve caught an illness…and it came after listen to this album – Dopeitis. Doesn’t happen a lot nowadays with a lot of the hip hop coming out. But this is nuts. Milk’s beats are still bananas, but in a different way. It’s literally more….well – Tronic. The thump is still there, but it’s more organized and electronic in a TR303 or kind of way. The main improvement is Milk’s flow – he’s arrived as a MC. Is he Jay-Z or El-P or Nas, etc….no. Is he dope? Yes. I think we are just starting to see what he can do.
Mick Boogie – Viva La Hova
I’m a day late….but it’s still dope. Download here.
Elzhi – The Preface
I know we had this up earlier – however I wanted to do a somewhat proper review. First of all, Black Milk and El are a nice team – they should be able to grow together for a little while (but I would like to hear Elzhi on some other people’s beats too). Milk’s beats are little more aggressive, not in the knock or the samples, but in texture. The beats are kinda filled out now. And #2 – Elzhi says…. “I end careers, years, pierce ears fierce with spears/They say I’m gifted, and lifted like the beers in Cheers.” Seriously people….and that goes on for the entire album. End of review. Cop it if you haven’t already.
DJ/rupture – Uproot
I basically took a look at this on a flier. I saw it up as one of the Pitchfork’s “Best New Music.” (I’m not a huge fan of Pitchfork at the moment, honestly….they seem a bit out of it..and behind in a sense.) But I’m glad I took a look at this album. It’s dubsteppy…dubby….bassy….atmospheric…. I can feel me driving to this during a rainy fall evening in the city. It’s just got a very upbeat chill vibe, but if you don’t watch out, the trunk on your Mazda might start rattling unexpectedly.
Now I have the first joint Ruff Draft…which is one I should’ve had on the site before….but this more recent album is crazy too. I actually didn’t know it was out until I listened to a Gilles Peterson (aka best DJ on Earth) podcast a few days ago. Definitely a Stones Throw vibe on it, which most of you that know me know I love. She’s been feature on a bunch of stuff, most notably for me “Eye” on the classic Madvailliany album. She sings and raps with equal ability – and she’s nice at both…..but it’s music that kills it. Why is this not being played on the radio? You have a song ready for it – “Floatin'”. She’s TV friendly (attractive). Sometimes…you just never know why some people blow…and some don’t. But I don’t care if she does or not….she’s dope nonetheless.
Chase and Status – More Than Alot
Best drum and bass album of the year, and probably the best since Pendulum’s Hold Your Colour. It’s basically perfect. I don’t have a lot more to say about it. Listen to, for example, “Pieces” and “Take Me Away” and be experienced.
Evil Nine – They Live!
Hard to explain….but apparently El-P loves them. I saw that he was featured, and decided to take a looksie. You figure El-P prolly has pretty good taste. And he definitely does. It’s a band…..but it’s something more. It’s drummy, but not really. Like I said, hard to explain. It’s kind of horrorcore, electro, breakbeat…all in one. It’ll be hit or miss with a lot of people. A hit for me.
The Last Shadow Puppets – My Mistakes Were Made For You
A quick acoustic follow-up to The Age of the Understatement. Still well done like Ruth Chris’ steak. These kids are super talented.
Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
Yes – that is literally the title of the dope ass record. The girl is nice on the guitar. In fact, I don’t know a lot of people nicer than her on the axe. Great drumming…lyrics (which sometimes are nonsensical, but I can work with it)…..nice layered sound.
Jacopo Carreras – From Bed to Couch
Electro techno IDM…..whatever you’d like to call it. He lies somewhere between Autechre and Apparat, but it’s just a good listen. He made the album almost entire from software and synths he (a former aeronautical student) made himself.
Oldies of the Moment:
Lee “Scratch” Perry and the Upsetters – Ape-ology
A compilation double album of the hardcore dread shit. You’re not going to find better reggae. It’s just not going to happen. It’s kind heavy and dark in a sense…..the drums and the bass lines roll like earthquake aftershocks. Apparently Perry was into acid during the days these songs came out in the late 70s – and it shows. One of the best reggae comps I’ve heard.
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing… (Deluxe version)
One of the dopest albums ever. A truly landmark album and basically one of, if not the pioneer album(s) to sample based/break albums that would follow. Cop the deluxe version if you can, because of the alternate versions, remixed, and extra songs. This is from 1996…and 12 years later, it still sounds like a million bucks. If you don’t have or haven’t at least listened this album in its entirety, not only have you been missing out – I’d have to question your taste in music. I’m not joking.
Oddly Dope Album of the Moment:
Soundtrack – Kung Fu Super Sounds
This is basically soundtrack music from the old Shaw Brothers kung fu movies from back in the day, put out by the De Wolfe group. This CD will be sampled from for years to come. Has everything from straight funk…to strings and chimes….electro…to western horn ensembles. It’s actually dope just as a stand-alone album to listen to.