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Showing posts from October, 2012

The Alchemist & 9FIVE Present: Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Oh No ... Big Twins, Chuck Inglish & Blu - "YACHT ROCK" (Side A-B)

Almost effortlessly cruisin' down the same nautical, boatshoed lane as Yacht Rock pioneers like Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Beach Boys, and Hall & Oates, The Alchemist quietly released one long 12-minute track [EP] appropriately dubbed "YACHT ROCK (Side A-B)" late Wednesday afternoon. It's pretty much the perfect soundtrack for throwing back a few boat-side brews, which might've been partially inspired by The Alchemist's fruitful shades/readers partnership with 9FIVE Eyewear; Hypebeast eloquently describes the glasses as "9FIVE Watson frames [with] a custom black and grey pattern added to the outer portions with red leather wrapped around the temple tips. The sunglasses variant receives polarized black lenses, while the reader model features clear CR-39 lenses."


Now, while that all sounds pretty TIGHT, $150's a little steep for 2 pairs of glasses, a fancy striped box, and a RARE 7-inch record... So, The Alchemist has liberated both "…

Glitter Ain't Gold: Gary Clark, Jr. - "When My Train Pulls In" (Blak & Blu Review)

Rock "N" Roll is an expressive art form: Whether it makes you want to passionately sing, dance, play, or even write. Blak & Blu is such a BIG, comprehensive album that'll undoubtedly get a lot of coverage. Sometimes I tend to stray away from potential "big ticket" pieces of that level. But fuck it - Blak & Blu is such a great collection that it honesty deserves every damn ounce of coverage it's getting! While a handful of critics have already started raggin' on Gary Clark Jr. for supposedly "selling out," abandoning his Austin Blues Rock roots, and making an eclectic [slightly "commercial"] album ... I feel like it's a pretty smart move right outta the gates; This way Clark won't get labelled a one-trick, guitar-playing pony. Plus, if he played grandiose guitar solos on nearly every track, people would call him a dick anyways. "Bright Lights" is a guitar feedback-soaked middle finger aimed @ Clark's detr…

The Colour & The Re-shape: Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem - "Everlong" (Foo Fighters)

While they've already managed to make a pretty seamless transition from Hardcore Punk to throwback "Jersey Shore Sound,"The Gaslight Anthem are slightly lesser well-know for their spot on, jaw-dropping cover re-arrangements. Spanning between 2006-12, they've successfully executed spirited takes on everyone from The Rolling Stones to Kelly Clarkson, either in the studio or a live setting. Frontman Brian Fallon was recently "across the pond" promoting Gaslight Anthem's fourth and undoubtedly sing-a-long-able Mercury record, Handwritten; Looks like he made a quick pit-stop @ BBC Radio 1 in his travels... playing a gut-wrenching, stripped down acoustic take on The Colour & The Shape hit-single, "Everlong" (1997).


It doesn't really even matter that Foo Fighters released "Everlong" roughly 15 years ago now, Fallon still manages to breathe new life into Dave Grohl's Modern Rock staple. Brian Fallon unleashes his signature, ra…

Mello Music Group Presents: Guilty Simpson & Apollo Brown - "Truth Be Told" (Dice Game)

Truth Be Told by Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson
Guilty Simpson & Apollo Brown are quite arguably the most downright Funky, brutally honest Detroit natives since Smokey Robinson & The Miracles! Fresh on the heels of a few solid 2010-11 joint albums, Apollo Brown successfully flipped a smooth crooning [ghostly] sample of "Awe, baby, it's been so-ooo looong" that's perfectly suited for a few introspective Guilty Simpson verses. Generally mis-labelled as an "Underground MC," Simpson has been actively rapping ever since 1991... released his Stones Throw debut, Ode to The Ghetto in 2008, and has worked with everyone from J Dilla to Geoff Barrow (Portishead). "Truth Be Told" is the first taste/lead single to whet our appetites for Dice Game, which is currently slated for a Nov. 13th release. Guilty Simpson & Apollo Brown managed to rope in a set of top-notch feature guest verses from Torae and Planet Asia, too.


"Someone once said that l…

Fair Trade Fairness?: Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle & Nocando - "Werner Herzog" (Hellfyre Club)

I wonder if German film director, one-time Killers collaborator, and accidental Hipster cult hero Werner Herzog is even remotely familiar with American Hip-Hop!? Los Angeles-based Indie rappers Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle & Nocando have assembled a loose posse to record a track called "Werner Herzog," which appears on Busdriver's recent ARGUMENTS WITH DREAMS EP. It's basically Flash Bang Grenada plus Open Mike Eagle, a pairing that director Diana Dalsasso went on to simply describe as, "3 of LA's best underground rappers that also just so happen to be the best of friends.""Werner Herzog" pretty much features some of the most clever, witty, quick punchlines I've heard in a long time! Prime example: "I got a bunch of girls pregnant cause I sell diapers ... I eat Fair Trade cheese and fart fairness."


Diana Dalsasso and Nonstop Record creative partner, Karina Soriano [producer] somehow manage to meld Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle &am…

Long Overdue kechPhrase Interview: "Grown Up" (Danny Brown Remix) & Green Card

(1) What made you decide to remix Danny Brown's "Grown Up" and why'd you choose it over all his recent output(s)?

I remixed Danny Brown's "Grown Up" because for one, it's one of the cleanest a capellas of his that I could find on the net. There's also a remix competition that Fool's Gold is hosting.


(2) Were you able to work hands-on with Fool's Gold/Danny Brown and Mishka to create your mix?

No, not hands on. Hopefully in the near future I'll be able to. Trackademicks, who's currently signed to Fool's Gold Records, and I have discussed collaborating on a track. That may be on a future project of mine in the future.


(3) When remixing the track, where'd you actually start and what was the general concept in mind?

Well, whenever I make a beat, I first decide whether or not I want to make it entirely from scratch or incorporate some type of sampling. With this, I figured that sampling would be the best way to compliment the …

Mystery of Chessboxin': RZA & The Black Keys - "The Baddest Man Alive" (Bubble Soccer)

Right before rippin' it up with [the bulk of] his Wu-Tang clansmen, RZA & Ghostface Killah played a quick game of "Bubble Soccer" in Studio 8B's elevator hallway alongside Gerard Butler and host, Jimmy Fallon. They were really there to promote RZA's Man with The Iron Fists film soundtarck. but it was pretty great to see the typically "hard as nails" Wu-Gambinos let their guards down and have some good-spirited fun on live TV. Wu-Tang Clan then performed a BRUTAL version of "6 Directions of Boxing" with Fallon's house band, The Roots; Ghostface, RZA, Cappadonna, GZA, Masta Killa, U-God, and Inspectah Deck were all present for the group's first televised performance together in roughly 10 years' time. The star-studded Iron Fists soundtrack is out today (October 23rd) and it's companion Kung-Fu flick hits theatres on November 2nd.


Album stand-out "The Baddest Man Alive" now has an action-packed music video, too - re…

YOUNG LOBSTER BIB: Action Bronson & The Alchemist - "The Symbol" (Rare Chandeliers, VICE)

It's pretty safe to assume that Action Bronson & The Alchemist first met while in the studio recording assorted parts for Domo Genesis' No Idols mixtape; Alchemist acted as reigning producer over the entire project and Bronsolini was featured on central track "Elimination Chamber" along with Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples. Instead of working on his 2-3rd album for new label VICE Records, Action Bronson is currently chipping away @ roughly 3-5 [FREE] mixtapes. It seems like the first one to fully materialize is gonna be Rare Chandeliers with The Alchemist, which should ultimately end up premiering online by mid-November. But I'd almost bet $100 that Bronson's been working on a batch of album-quality material for VICE the entire time now... as he's a man of vast mystery, intrigue, and surprise! Earlier today, it was reported that Action Bronson will be taking a will-deserved break - Heading out on a 14-date Fall Tour with Cypress Hill, running throu…

"Re-think Every Belief Ever Learned:" ST 2 Lettaz - R.E.B.E.L. EP (Formerly G-side)

SPACE JAM by ST 2 Lettaz
Huntsville, Alabama-based rapper-director and former gas station attendee Stephen "ST 2 Lettaz" Harris is fording a solo career of his own after the recent demise of his Country Rap group, G-side, who managed to release 5 Hip-Hop albums between 2007-11; R.E.B.E.L. EP was announced along with SPIN's "break-up piece" @ the beginning of September and released nearly a week later online Sept. 17th. R.E.B.E.L. stands for "re-think every belief ever learned" and it seems like that's what ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova decided to do after 10+ years of teetering the underground/mainstream Hip-Hop circles. For new-comers like you and I, R.E.B.E.L. EP seems like a perfect place to start. It's a project that I was actually tipped off to by Tom Breihan's latest [excellent] "Mixtape of The Week" review. Clova seems to be piddling away @ a solo career, too... He's formed his own label imprint (Lambo Music), working on a…

Trick or Treat?: A$AP Rocky, Drake, Kendrick Lamar & 2 Chainz - "_uckin' Problems" (#LONGLIVEA$AP)

It's been one Hell of a year for the re-emergence of posse cut-wielding albums; First off, Rick Ross assembled "Maybach Music Group" for Self Made #1-2, then Kanye's House of G.O.O.D. Music produced Cruel Summer, and A$AP Rocky even manged to release Lords Never Worry with his A$AP Mob comrades. While it's still unclear if LONGLIVEA$AP will see a rumored Halloween [Oct. 31st] release or not, "Fuckin' Problems" seems like a pretty solid ramp-up single. Most likely recorded during A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar's stint on Drake's recent Club Paradise Tour (2011-12) ... "Fuckin' Problems" also features 2 Chainz on a [thankfully] brief, simple hook.


October's Very Own (OVO) in-house producer, Noah "40" Shebib provided the track's central beat, which Andy Bustard went on to quite accurately describe as a "minimalistic, yet no less THUMPING soundbed!" I guess only time will tell if A$AP Rocky's LONGLIV…

Guerrilla Statement from "sole:" A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing (Transcribed PSA)

"A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing (AROEE) is the culmination and logical progression of all the various aesthetics and approaches I have cultivated over the years. This album is at times sarcastic, belligerent, serious, poetic, and abstract. I rap about rappers, I rap about the empire, I rap about capitalism, labor, alienation and the environment. I offer critiques, I offer solutions. Sonically, this album bounces between classic Hip-Hop, Electronica & Experimental Dance, traditional song formats and tracks that barely resemble songs. When I think about the artists that inspire me, I look to Pete Seeger, Chuck D, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor; Musicians who never let the immediate needs of the market dictate what they created..."

"Like many that came before it, this album holds dear the Situationist notion that art is only doing its job when it's challenging the status quo. Unlike much music that has emerged under the banner of Occupy, this al…

Lord of The Game: Death Grips - "True Vulture" [Bare] _ (Galen Pehrson Installation)

Barely teetering the fine line between "underground kings" and commercial over-exposure, Death Grips have managed to record and release a STELLAR sample-based mixtape and 2 full-length albums since forming over Winter 2010-11. Their second vigilantly self-released record of 2012 notoriously featured "NO LOVE DEEP WEB" scrawled across a boner-fied dick! 2 alternate [soft] covers were soon re-released, but not before Death Grips topped BitTorrent's "Legally Downloaded Music" list with 34,151,432 downloads. In the midst of NO LOVE DEEP WEB's 12am guerrilla style mass liberation, a non-album cut dubbed "True Vulture Bare" was uncovered by a tech-savvy fan named moralreef.


Now, nearly a month later... Death Grips have wholeheartedly abandoned their usual home-made music video feel, teaming up with director-animator, Galen Pehrson; Presented by LA's very own Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), it's one trippy-ass ride that's been t…

OMG, Look @ Their Freeky Fashion!?: Die Antwoord - "FATTY BOOM BOOM" (Concrete Jungle)

Off in their own little [Zef stylized] world, Die Antwoord somehow manage to take arguably out-dated, corny Pop Culture nuances and try to make them semi-"relevant" once again. So, with that said... maybe the almost instantly controversial full-body "blackface" paint might just be a twisted send-up to that one time Eddie Murphy or Dave Chappelle wore white face paint ha. Die Antwoord seem to be re-invigorating a long-forgotten feud with Lady GaGa in their newest music video for "FATTY BOOM BOOM," too. In typical Rap beef fashion, a tranny GaGa impersonator rocks a meat dress (no pun intended) and eventually becomes a lion's tasty dinner; Only after finding her way on foot to a South African gynecologist after her Big 5 "tour bus" breaks down, then birthing a small insect.


Now, that's all inter-spliced against performance footage of Die Antwoord lacing up "FATTY BOOM BOOM" ... whilst wearing full-body costumed outfits that vagu…

"A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing:" A Conversation with sole & The Skyrider Band Emcee & Kickstarter Entrepreneur Tim Holland (The Witzard Interview)

(1.) The album flows so smoothly and the beat selection is damn-near immaculate! How did you go about picking which tracks to include and sequence them?

I tried to pick tracks that fit the theme of global revolution best, and went with those. I ended up cutting all the songs about more personal sh*t. I tried to sequence it more thematically as opposed to aesthetically.


(2.) How exactly would you describe the overall sound (genre-wise) of A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing?

It's Rap music. I've been calling it "Critical Theory Rap." Some people have called the production "glassy," I don't know what that means. * THE WITZARD EDIT: "This album is the culmination of a lot of shit, I hope you enjoy it... It's funny, it's poppy, it's not poppy, it's belligerent, it's personal, it's militant, it's everywhere." (Kickstarter Update #18)


(3.) I'm not the most political person whatsoever... But how would you adv…

Smallpox Champion: Chris Lawhorn - "Fugazi Edits" (The Witzard, Emailed Interview)

"Nice New Outfit" (Track 01) by Chris Lawhorn

(1.) What really compelled you to edit a bunch of Fugazi tracks together in the first place... and how'd you go about picking which parts to use?

Chris Lawhorn: I love the band. I thought it would be an interesting project and an excuse to listen to their catalog in a new way. I used all of the songs in their discography -- apart from those on the Instrument soundtrack.


(2.) Did you have to pay constant attention to stuff like pitch, tempo, rhythm, timing etc. When mashing the tracks together?

Yes. With the whole album, I tried to group the tracks by tempo -- so that I wasn't mixing fast tracks with slow ones. And with the individual tracks, it was a matter of keeping each instrument in time with those from the other tracks by manually moving beats around.


(3.) Do you have a background in Punk and/or Hip-Hop (even just as a fan)? Cause parts of it really remind me of both genres!

In the late 90's, I played drums in a ba…

Lyrical Wordplay: Titus Andronicus - "Still Life with Hot Deuce and Silver Platter" (Beer-Punk?)

Let's face it, karaoke sucks! Unless it's one of those beer-fueled, full bar sing-a-longs. Titus Andronicus are a "Beer-Punk" band hailing from Glen Rock, NJ who are named after a Shakespeare play. "Still Life with Hot Deuce and Silver Platter" is the second self-leaked track from the band's upcoming LP #3, Local Business (Oct. 22-23rd). "Titus Andronicus the studious recording project and Titus Andronicus the raucous touring machine are no longer two distinct beings; There is only Titus Andronicus, Rock "N" Roll band." ... Frontman Patrick Stickles notes that while Local Business isn't exactly a concept album per say, it was greatly inspired by a car wreck, "food fight" [eating disorder], and electrocution, a descent into insanity, and forgiveness.


Loosely translating to "shit on a silver platter," "Still Life with Hot Deuce and Silver Platter" seems to be ragging on Hipsters [relevant dudes]. Towa…

Hybrid Moments: Kids These Days - "Who Do U-Luv?" (Traphouse Rock)

Kids These Days are a bunch of super-talented, surprisingly Bluesy 18-20-somethings hailing from Chicago. The group which is fronted by MC Vic Mensa are headed out on a nation-wide tour this Fall with Asher Roth & Chuck Inglish... includes young talent: Macie Stewart, Nico Segal, J.P. Floyd, Lane Beckstrom, Greg Landfair Jr, and Liam Cunningham. I think it's pretty safe to classify Kids These Days as a "Free Jazz" band, but they've also recorded music with Blended Babies, Chuck Inglish, The O'My's, and Asher Roth. It really boils down to being a Hip-Hop-infused style of Jazz that vaguely reminds me of The Roots or N*E*R*D's instrumental chops. They're currently working with Wilco main man Jeff Tweedy, putting the final touches on Traphouse Rock LP, which'll finally see a [FREE] release on "Halloween Eve," Oct. 30th.


Kids These Days premiered our latest taste of the album, "Who Do U-Luv?" online @ Soundcloud Thurs. afternoo…

Return to The 36 Chambers: RZA & The Black Keys - "The Baddest Man Alive" (Tarantino)

The Black Keys & RZA first linked up for 2 tracks on their wildly successful Dame Dash-helmed Blues Rock/Rap fusion album, BlakRoc (2009). It seems like RZA might've called in a few favors when assembling the soundtrack to his upcoming film debut, Man with The Iron Fists: Kanye, Flatbush Zombies, Raekwon, Freddie Gibbs, Corrine Bailey Rae, Ghostface Killah, Talib Kweli, and Pharoahe Monch. Following a steady stream of leaks, the opening track from it's soundtrack album, which is out nation-wide Oct. 23rd, "The Baddest Man Alive" was unveiled Thurs. afternoon. Seemingly co-produced by both Dan Auerbach & RZA himself, "Baddest Man" is a Blues-leaning romp, accented by boastful Hip-Hop bravado. FuseTV premiered the track and quite aptly described it as sounding a lot like "an Ennio Morricone track produced by B.B. King."


While he's been pretty heavily influenced by Kung-Fu [Shaolin] since the Wu-Tang Clan days, The Man with The Iron Fists

Basquiat Freestyle: Purity Ring & Danny Brown - "Belispeak II" (Corin Roddick Remix)

Purity Ring - "Belispeak II" (Danny Brown)
While Danny Brown has already worked with non-Hip-Hop cats like The Big Pink and The StreetsThe D.O.T., he recently Tweeted: "Everybody I wanna work with don't wanna work with me, so I gave up on asking people to do songs with me a long time ago." Mr. Brown then proceeded to list The Weeknd and Purity Ring amongst his dream collaborators. Nearly 1 month later @ 12 midnight Oct. 9-10th, Purity Ring quietly debuted "Belispeak II" online, which just so happens to feature Danny Brown! Back in August, Corin Roddick mentioned to Pitchfork that his production work's influenced by Soulja Boy, Justin Timberlake, Clams Casino, and that he'd "really like to get into producing for Hip-Hop and R&B artists."


"[Danny] Brown, who first saw Purity Ring on their summer tour, expressed interest in wanting to work with the band via Twitter and the two then exchanged ideas through email." Corin Ro…

Watch The Throne Meets "Bohemian Rhapsody:" Weekend Money - Naked City EP (Greedhead)

It kinda seems like Weekend Money were added to the Das Racist/Union Transfer bill in the final hour" ... But man, they've gotta be the TIGHTEST rap crew I've never heard of! Ne$$ & Baghdaddy proceeded to [brutally] open the show and were followed up by fellow Greedhead labelmates: SAFE, Lakutis, and flamboyant rapper LE1F. Impose Magazine goes on to cleverly point out that this is NOT the same Ness that Diddy notoriously sent across the frozen Brooklyn Bridge to buy a cheesecake on Making The Band 2. Weekend Money Ne$$ was born and raised in Philly and is now co-aligned with politically conscious Hip-Hop group, dead prez. Since immigrating 1/2 way across the world, DJ Baghdaddy has been able to learn/produce under the wing of seasoned Roots beatsmith, Hot Sugar.


Ne$$ had a chance meeting with Baghdaddy @ a party; While he had never produced a Hip-Hop beat before, the 2 ended up vibing pretty well... melding together Hip-Hip & Electro attributes to create the uniq…

How The Gods Chill: @SeanMandela Price - "STFU, Part 2" (Duck Down Records)

The Chain Gang somehow managed to seamlessly splice together a bunch of stop-motion [animation] clips to construct Sean Price's latest music video, "STFU (Part 2)." Before it's all said and done, we see Super-Price courageously fending off a pack of angry killer apes with a microphone... getting some calcium fortification, pilot a spaceship, re-enact a couple album covers, run through the jungle, etc. All of Sean Price's milk-fueled hi-jinx were animated by crafty illustrators, Haroon Gilian & Whitney Alexander; "STFU (Part 2)" will appear on Price's long-awaited Mic Tyson album, along with previously-released tracks "Haraam" and "I See." Rome York directed and released a quick, 1:30-minute music video last week to go along with "I See," which was in fact pre-empted by "Sean Price Plays Tennis" back in early Sept.


Duck Down Records are finally gearing up to liberate Mic Tyson on Oct. 30th and it's s…

Dubbing Down The Horse?: The Wallflowers - "Re-boot The Mission" (Mick Jones)

I just recently bought a second copy of The Wallflowers'Bringing Down The Horse (1996), which along with Jagged Little Pill & Crash, was one of the first CD's I ever bought with my own money as a kid. Now, we all remember those great mid-90's Alternative Rock hit singles like "One Headlight,""The Difference," and "6th Avenue Heartache" ... The Wallflowers' first single after a nearly 7-year hiatus, "Re-boot The Mission" is a really Dance-Funk-leaning Rock "N" Roll swinger of a track; Noticeably influenced by The Clash's unique brand of Reggae-fied Dance rhythms, it seems pretty fitting that "Re-boot" features the guitar/back-up vocal talents of Ska Punk pioneer, Mick Jones. The seasoned vet also lent his musical talents to another one of The Wallflowers' new tracks included within Glad All Over, which is out this upcoming Tuesday (October 9th).


Black Dog Films director Sam Jones cleverly managed to…

Talkin' Bout My Generation: Daddy & Smokey Robinson - "Crime" (James Franco)

James Franco, a true "Renaissance Man" has now added Doo Wop musician to his long list of credentials, which also includes: method actor, college student, performance artist, "soap star," director, award show host, author-poet, etc. On top of all that, Franco recently somehow managed to find time to form Daddy with his old college buddy, Tim O'Keefe while on the Oz: The Great & Powerful set. Daddy's Motown-inspired debut effort, MotorCity EP was released online roughly 2 weeks ago on Sept. 25th; There's been no specific record label mentioned for it's release/promotion, but I guess, who really needs label backing when you're James Franco ha. Franco's scantily-clad co-stars from his upcoming Indie film Spring Breakers, including Selena Gomez & Vanessa Hudgens, are strewn across MotorCity EP's Instagrammed album cover... "If it was four unknowns on that cover, maybe it'd just be purely this sexual thing. But when they'…