Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SSENSE & Surface to Air Present: Chromeo, HAIM & Napoleon Dynamite - "Old 45's" (Last Gang)


It all starts out innocently enough, at a Road House-stye "dive bar" that's seemingly located out in the middle of the desert; Dave 1 seductively croons, "if you think romance is dead and gone, found an old jukebox full of 45's, pop a nickle in it, and it all comes back to me" at "Old 45's" gorgeous dark-haired protagonist. Chromeo multi-instrumentalist P-Thugg can be seen seated by himself up at the bar, where our leading lady eventually settles, and in certain frames, sisters Danielle, Este & Alana Haim are seated alongside Dave 1 in a booth. "You know what? I tried out these new pants. I didn't think I'd like 'em... thought they'd be a little bit too tight. But hey, I'll tell ya... I kinda like the way they grip me," laments our cocktail-pouring bartender, right before a sensual bar-top dance routine suddenly breaks out. And before too long, yet another dance routine erupts, as the lights dim down and Dave 1 sings directly to our mysterious leading lady. The camera abruptly pans over to the dive bar's light-stricken front door and Jon Heder, who seems to have been cast as a slightly aged Napoleon Dynamite-esque character, awkwardly enters. Heder approaches the bar as the mini-movie pauses and "Ezra's Interlude" faintly plays in the background; he clumsily attempts to spit game at our brown-eyed temptress and somehow, manages to start a ridiculously splat-stick bar fight. She and Heder quietly sneak out the front door hand-in-hand, while Dave 1 & P-Thugg duck under a nearby table, making sure not to scuff up their spiffy Surface to Air FW14 Collection duds. Chromeo's nearly flawless retro/future Electro-Funk album, White Women is currently available for your listening pleasure on their Toronto-based Last Gang Records.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

2DopeBoyz & Jackson Browne Present: Ab-Soul - "W.W.S.D." (What Would Soul Do?)




It seems as though veteran TDE emcee Ab-Soul has ripped a page right out of one-time "label-mate" Action Bronson's book of tricks, essentially rapping over an untouched Jackson Browne track, "These Days," once recorded by both Nico and Gregg Allman. While Browne's track shares it's title with Ab-Soul's recent third album, These Days... "W.W.S.D." is actually an apparent non-album left-over; "What Would Soul Do" doesn't really even sample Jackson Browne's original recording, Ab-Soul more or less manages to rap in-between or along with "These Days," which was included on Browne's second album, For Everyman (1973). "Yo, how the f*ck my new girl got me jealous of other girls / I think I live in another world," Ab-Soul ruthless raps as he fades in and out of Jackson Browne's subdued crooning, "And I had a lover / But it's so hard to risk another / These days," a clever back-and-forth which continues into about the 2-minute mark, as Ab-Soul effortlessly laces up two introspective, hard-hitting verses. "So many pills I should have slipped already / My lungs the same color as my lips already... Can't achieve success without failure, baby." I'll willingly admit, I was pretty quick to deem "W.W.S.D." "the most gangster thing Ab-Soul has ever done," which is currently available for FREE download online, while These Days... is available for purchase from your preferred local or Internet-based retailers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TDE & Swiffer Wet-Jet Present: Kendrick Lamar & Ron Isley - "i" (non-album single)




Kendrick Lamar's latest non-album single, "i" has a seemingly unlikely sample source, The Isley Brother's 1973 Soul-Funk hit, "[Who's] That Lady," which many of you may recognize from Swiffer's hilarious long-standing "Who's That Lady" campaign. Right off the bat, "i" itself is more blatantly "commercial" than the combined the whole of it's predecessor good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012), but in the best way humanly possible. It's almost reminiscent of OutKast or even Native Tongues' 90's era brand of light-heated "conscious rap." Kendrick Lamar has supposedly recorded about 30 tracks for his as-yet-untitled second album, including "a bunch of tracks" with Dr. Dre. "Lamar says to expect "aggression and emotion" from the album, as well as some straight-up freestyling" laments a recent Rolling Stone profile; "if I can say anything about this record... is that it will connect again," Lamar vaguely continues. It was revealed just this morning in a brief Power 106 radio interview that not only did Ronald Isley approve of producer Rahki's clever "[Who's] That Lady" sample flip, but he even went as far as to record new ad-libs for "i," which are randomly scattered amongst Kendrick Lamar's repeated self-empowering "I love myself" refrains. While Kendrick Lamar's forthcoming album currently lacks a firm release or title, but he coyly brushed off "United States of A.L.A.R.M.," I'd imagine TDE issuing a lead single is a fairly good sign; even though Lamar divulged Rolling Stone that he's "not sure at all" if the album will even be out this year.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Freddie Mercury & Michael Jackson - "There Must Be More to Life Than This" (Queen Forever)


It's almost unfathomable to me, as both a home-grown music writer and music-buying all-American 20-something, to hear that musical luminaries Michael Jackson and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury once recorded a number of incomplete tracks together that have been sitting in a vault somewhere in "Neverland," collecting dust for nearly 30 years! Mercury supposedly brought the potentially ├╝ber-fruitful 1983-84 sessions to a screeching halt after Jackson attempted to bring a llama into the recording studio. Head Stereogum writer, Tom Breihan basically conceptualized the whole mind-boggling scenario perfectly: "[it's] like finding a giant pile of money under the bed in your hotel room and deciding, what the Hell, you'll just leave it there" ha. But now, Grammy-winning producer and Madonna collaborator, William Orbit has gone back in and meticulously re-produced/mastered the long-lost Queen-backed track, "There Must Be More to Life Than This," which after three decades-worth of endless set-backs, will finally see an official release on the band's upcoming Queen Forever compilation. While it seemingly wasn't ready for inclusion on Michael Jackson's recent cut-and-pasted posthumous release, Xscape, a Jackson-less version of "There Must Be More to Life Than This" originally appeared on Freddie Mercury's premier solo album, Mr. Bad Guy. It was first penned by Mercury during the writing sessions for Queen's 1981 album, Hot Space wherein the piano-accompanied track ultimately went unfinished and shelved, but was resurrected just three years later during the recording of The Works; Michael Jackson then recorded his vocal parts in Los Angeles around 1984, although for whatever reasons, Mercury decided to include it within Mr. Bad Guy (1985). "There Must Be more to Life Than This" will see it's first official Queen/Jackson-sanctioned release on Queen Forever, which is currently slated for a November 10-11th release, along with two additional unreleased 1980's era Queen treasures, "Let Me In Your Heart Again" and "Love Kills."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mass Appeal Purrsents: Run The Jewels - "Oh My Darling Don't Cry" (Meow The Jewels)




"Run The Jewels will self-produce a new episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey, with Mike and El both playing Gordon Ramsey. We will travel to a restaurant with you of your choice, completely uninvited and attempt to force them to change the menu. All the while, verbally abusing and insulting the entire staff to hilarious effect," reads the utterly side-splitting RTJ2 We Are Gordon Ramsey Package ($150,000). It's one of 11 totally outlandish too-good-to-be-true RTJ2 pre-order "BONU$" packages ranging from $7,500-10,000,000 in "price," which Run The Jewels blatantly admit that they'll "take your money and not fulfill any of [their] obligations as outlined in any package priced at 35k or more." There's even a Meow The Jewels package, wherein for the right purrice, Killer Mike & El-P will supposedly "re-record RTJ2 using nothing but cat sounds for music." Run The Jewels unleashed the second single from their forthcoming RTJ2, "Oh My Darling Don't Cry" Monday morning as part of Adult Swim's annual summer singles series. Killer Mike & El-P somehow managed to recruit Police Academy actor Michael Winslow, who ended up contributing a unique human beatbox/robot vocal effect to "Oh My Darling Don't Cry." Not entirely unlike the majority of Run The Jewels (album 1), "Oh My Darling Don't Cry" is a frantic multi-layered Space-Rap-sounding track that's effortlessly laced up with Killer Mike & El-P's rapid-fire rap ferocity and Winslow's robot sounds. Run The Jewels' latest track is now available for download through Adult Swim's summer singles program, ahead of their aptly-titled Mass Appeal Records FREE-release, RTJ2, which will become available for download online this upcoming October 27th; coincidentally, just on day before the end of @MeowTheJewels' Kickstarter campaign that's attempting to raise $45,100 so that El-P & Killer Mike will re-produce a cat sounds instrumental version of RTJ2. @therealelp has expressed his interest in making what's now been dubbed "Meow The Jewels" and pledged to donate nearly all of it's profits to charity; with the help of a mainstream media push, MTJ has already managed to raise upwards of $7,000 in less than two days, at press time.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dr. Romanelli Presents: The Alchemist, Samiyam & Action Bronson - "Which Ways The Beach? Mix" (British Knights)


"IF [YOU] LISTEN TO THIS, [YOU] WILL HEAR ANOTHER SNIPPET OFF MR. WONDERFUL. SHHH, DON'T TELL [ANYONE] @Alchemist THIS EXPLAINS IT," @ActionBronson quietly Tweeted late Thursday night, alluding to his recent "Which Ways The Beach Mix;" commissioned by Dr. Romanelli (DRx) and footwear company, British Knights and jointly produced by The Alchemist & Samiyam. The newly-minted rapper-producer beatsmith team painstakingly culled right around 8-minutes worth of audio snippets and vocal effects harvested from a series of 1980-90's British Knights TV commercials. It's without a doubt, an interesting sound collage, which fittingly provides viewers and sneaker-heads with a self-proclaimed "contemporary musical travelogue through BK History." Action Bronson bulldozes in at about 6:15 as the beat suddenly morphs into something, shall we say, a little more rap-able; "I know you seen me on the TV lookin' like a hunk of beef / When I smile, your baby momma sh*tted dungarees / Somebody get the he kid a deal... he sound like me." Its kinda hard to go ahead and make unprecedented assumptions as to what Bronson's forthcoming VICE Records debut will sound like based off an all-too-brief 35-second snippet, but judging by "Which Ways The Beach?" and "Easy Rider," Mr. Wonderful is poised to be one of the most ferocious genre-blending Hip-Hop albums since Kanye's recent Aggro-Rap magnum opus, Yeezus (2013). "This new album I'm about to present to you is all me, Success or Failure, Critical Acclaim or Disappointment. I'll accept it either way... But trust me, [you're] gonna sh*t [your] pants from enjoyment," Bronson recently lamented on Twitter in 140 characters or less.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Don't Call It a Comeback: Aphex Twin - "minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]" (Warp Records)




"Phex Twinnipicks material is still unquenched thirst... Syria, September 23, 2014, along with records of Aphex Twin's new album to be released. For the owner of Triple vinyl, CD and digital formats will be available. Bleep a very limited vinyl version you can register your interest in buying," reads Warp Records' seemingly intentionally jumbled Aphex Twin SYRO press release. While he hasn't released a full-length album in a whopping 13 years, Aphex Twin mastermind Richard D. James recently alluded to new material via both a mysterious "2014" tagged blimp and a few encrypted posts uploaded onto the more often than not corrupt underground Deep Web. Aphex Twin then unexpectedly unleashed the first SYRO teaser track, "minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]," just in time for the onslaught of the weekend. It's already garnered loose comparisons to Thom Yorke, Caribou, and Burial, fellow modern day veiled Electro-leaning artists who were quite arguably influenced by Aphex Twin's early 90's-2000's output. In all honesty, I had never really listened to Aphex Twin's music prior to drafting up this very piece, but it seems to be generally categorized as either Intelligent Dance Music (IDM), Electronic, Ambient, or Ambient Techno. "minipops 67" is a jittery, bass-filled nearly 5-minute long Radiohead-esque Electronic meltdown, apparently falling apart at its seems from 0:00. It's full of unrecognizable vocal fragments and distorted multi-layered bleeps and blips, which suddenly morphs into some sort of left-field "Outsider Hip-Hop" that Stones Throw could easily put out, right around the 2:40 mark. Not entirely unlike The Designers Republic's previously released mundane office supplies receipt reminiscent SYRO album artwork, the companion "minipops 67" single cover features itemized and tallied stats related to Aphex Twin's fan-searched YouTube activity for the past seven months. Aphex Twin's long-awaited sixth studio album, SYRO is currently slated for a September 23rd release on Warp Records; but that might only be the start of a virtual landslide of upcoming releases, because James has supposedly had at least "six albums completed" since as early as October 2010.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Songs In The Key of Life: Party Supplies - "Ohio" (Labor Day Weekend Mix)




While pseudo-frontman Justin Nealis has seemingly singularly produced countless records for Action Bronson, Cam'ron, and Danny Brown, Party Supplies is in fact, a self-described 2-man "Anachronistic Rock Music" group; newly-augmented member Sean Mahon appeared alongside Nealis on Party Supplies' 2013 Fool's Gold Records debut, Tough Love and supposedly assisted in production on frequent collaborator Action Bronson's critically-acclaimed Blue Chips 2 mixtape and long-rumored cross-genre "Jericho" project. They've been relentlessly teasing at a Tough Love vinyl re-issue for months now... "Justine [Monsul], Sean [Mahon], and myself wrote this in a hotel in Ohio a few months back, very happy to see it come together #OHIO," @xpartysuppliesx sporadically Tweeted this past weekend. It was of course, a preemptive message in allusion to "Ohio," the latest Country-laden non-album Party Supplies track, which was somewhat confusingly described as sounding similar to Johnny Cash, R.E.M. Crash Test Dummies, Hootie & The Blowfish, Dire Straits, and even Neil Diamond. But sonically, it really makes so much more sense than you could ever imagine; "I got my feet dirty in Rap for many years, and I been in this sh*t for many years, only after I found a little bit of success with Rap that I got enough confidence to drop the Tough Love record, which is the opposite of what The Black Keys did," Justin Nealis recently told HipHopDX, while attempting to describe Party Supplies' mixed genre aesthetic, whilst comparing their output to The Black Keys' hybrid Rap-Rock album, BlakRoc (2009). Although it's currently unclear whether or not post-Tough Love non-album Soundcloud FREEBIES "(Searching for) A Crazy Love," "Danny Boy," "Security," "4 More Months 2 Go," and now "Ohio" will end up on Fool's Gold's Tough Love vinyl re-issue, when prompted if the long-rumored LP was coming soon, @xpartysuppliesx simply replied, "yes soon, thanx mate."