After a long wait to get the updated site running we are finally starting to flow. There are a shit load of tunes that I’ve been sent during the past months and they definitely need a mention in the next few instalments of the Mix. My reviews for this week are looking at a large assortment of different types of hip-hop ranging from multi-lingual rhymes from London, Paris and Guadeloupe to top tracks from some of Nottingham and Birmingham‘s finest artists whilst Abjekt lays down his current Top 5 Buzz Joints of the month also on this page.
A large part of what I want to do is to let the world know about some of the new up and coming artists, you know, give the decent ones a break and a bit of exposure. It’s always nice to hear what new track Task Force, Braintax, Rodney P etc have released (or re-released) but today I’m not in the mood for that. Today is a day for the peeps that have to try a little harder to be heard. Believe me, there are some good tunes out there waiting to be picked up.
Try a few of these on for size:
I’chelmee – Spreading the Vibe
I’chelmee is presented to us by Social Misfit entertainment; you can find some of their stuff for sale on line at www.suspect-packages.com (where you can find loads of decent uk 12″s, albums, DVD’s and magazines). Spreading the vibe is a very different debut album where the tracks exceed the usual musical and lyrical boundaries. The album is dropped in French, Creole and English by the multi-linguist I’chelmee. Throughout this album we can be served with a delightful concoction of original and diverse blends of musical ingredients. From agreeable melodious tunes reminiscent of Caribbean calypso for starters, to heavy beat-banging African drums for desert.
Now, if you didn’t pay attention in your foreign language lessons that’s not too much of a problem because there are some pretty fat rhythmical tunes on this CD. I learnt Spanish so I’m screwed. But for those that are into the likes of MC Solar or Sian Supa Crew this one is definitely for you.
The track I would like to point out to everyone is “Met Sa Wo“. Its one of those tunes that fits perfectly with cruising in your car on a hot summers day with your seat tilted a little, bitch in the front, bitches in the back, and you’ve got yo swerve on. Or have I been watching too much shit on TV. Anyway, it does have that sound that makes you feel a touch of coolness, or extra cool if you’re the type that thinks you’re already there. Take some time to have a listen to this stuff. Have a little variety in your tastes. A little diversity doesn’t hurt anyone. Check it out at www.ichelmee.com. You can also download this album from www.karmadownload.com for £7.99.
Lost Project – Next Level Concept
With the emancipation of this 9 track album we can all take a largely anticipated and eagerly awaited breath out in a sigh of relief. Dealmaker records, from the Midlands, have released a proper little gem here. Lost Project, comprising of members; MC Killah, Poorly Fluent and DJ Frenic come true with that real rugged, home-grown sound that (I think) most of us are looking for.
From skipping through the tracks when I first received the CD the track that initially stuck its neck out was no. 7; “All about the Gods” somehow uses synth sounds that produce a chilled ghostly feel while at the same time it gets my head noddin’ all the way through. And that’s not because I was falling asleep, it’s because I am feeling the tune I should say.
Another track I want to mention is “Mutual Feelings” because it caught me one day walking to work with my ipod on. Again, we’ve got that eerie sound that I like to hear but it’s the quick, keep you on your toes, lyrics that set this one off. Switching between MC’s for different verses and fast lyrical intelligence and witty jives for the shitty MC’s that we all love to hate, really keeps the flow going.
There are so many reasons why this album caught my attention; DJ Frenic whips this shit up with some sweet tasting scratching from start to finish, the whole album has a darkish sinister feel to it and George Bush is given a good portion of shit to swallow! (nice idea there lads). There’s a lot to this one… Grab it when you can. And guess what!! It’s only a fiver for this little beast at the labels’ website www.dealmakerrecords.com so hurry up and get your pay pal accounts sorted. There are a couple of tracks off the album for you to listen to before you buy it.
DPF The Inpatient (Still Flossin’ EP)
Right then! DPF lives in Norwich, which is also the home of Alan Partridge. Now, for those of you that don’t know any of DPF’s work, he is always impressing with his supa-tight flows and has featured on loads of releases by top notch producers such as; Rob Life, Styly Cee (aka MC Pitman) and Tom Caruana.
I have specifically picked one tune from DPF’s follow up of his “Mental Floss” EP in 2003, “Still Flossin‘”. That tune (as it says above) is “The Inpatient“. In this track DPF has written very cheeky and extremely clever lyrics based on being a patient at a mental home, a sort of sequel to “The Outpatient” from the last EP. His dark, comical humour and lyrical dexterity rip the fuck out of this track and can make you laugh, get to almost know his character and…..if you feel like it…. have a little groove along the way. This is a great track for both your home and for playing out at bars. I played this one at my last doo and it went down a right treat. Apart from with the wankers that asked if I had any house music!! But anyway, what a track! On a boring note, as I am someone with a degree in psychology, you would be surprised how much relevant stuff there is in there and how true and to the point the lyrics really are.
And no! There’s nothing about the pedestrianisation of Norwich in there. (For those of you that get it). Check out www.sonrecords.com for more info.
Menagerie – Wild Kingdom
This last album was sent to me, along with a couple of other CD’s and a few posters, just for buying a few records from suspect packages and what a treat it is. I’ve never heard of this lot before but maybe I should have done. This debut 21 track CD is full of diamonds in the rough, with light hearted and amusing little skits including a wonderful interview about a very “distracted” mans‘ favourite pets. This crew is made up of two producers, one DJ and three MC’s. Again, Tom Caruana raises his head and blesses us with his presence and some well picked samples. Dr Syntax also shows us how to avoid those syntax errors. This CD is perfect for people that love to listen to those up beat Herbaliser tracks, Jurassic 5 or DJ Format albums.
As I have been doing, I shall pick a couple of tunes that you shouldn’t miss. The first one I’ve picked is one that I missed for a while because the tune doesn’t kick in right away, and that is “Whitey Express“. This is such a feel good tune because of its bouncy/slightly Hawaiian music although at the same time it’s about the person rhyming feeling pretty grimy. Every time I put this track on I get the feeling of havin’ a bit of fun, maybe going to the fair with my mates. Don’t know, there’s something great about this one. The second track I’ve picked is “Lazy Bones” Another feel good track about something completely opposite….Laziness! We can all associate with feeling rugged at half 2 in the afternoon, dragging ourselves up and ignoring our phones until we can be bothered to have a conversation with anyone. Well, at least I can. Oh the days!
Well some how this track makes you feel good about all of those things and helps you to realise it’s all in the name of fun the night/week before. This ones’ for the people that like a little smoke on occasions, it will definitely bring a smirk to your face. You can buy both the album and a 12″ EP from www.suspect-packages.com. As you will soon tell, you can buy almost everything to do with uk hip hop from this site.
Abjekt’s Current Buzz Joints
Poor People’s Day
Former Company Flow MC Jus kicks back into action with this release, a murky swamp of an album. Through crunching piano samples, orchestral sweeps and pounding downtrodden drums, Jus steps out of El-P’s shadow beating the mic up with his anti-political rhetoric and well thought out opinions on the poor state of the globe today. Definitely one for the intellectual heads out there.
I Don’t Want To / Loneliness Costs
All The Chats
English MC Example might not be a familiar name to a lot of you guys, but he soon will be. This double A sided single starts off with a Muddy Waters’ sampled beat which tells the story of Ex picking up a girl, trying to get rid of her at Pizza Express and finally succeeding in getting two meals all to himself. The flip side loops the well known “One Is The Loneliest Number” track where Example shows off his versatility as he jumps over a beat chronicling a man’s decline into drugs after being dumped.
Hip Hop Is Music
This is an internet only release from Portland’s own Braille, a member of the head nodding crew Lightheaded [alongside Othello and Ohmega Watts]. A Christian MC, Braille throws his spiritual weight over summery vibes, stepping across boundaries and leaving the listener feel like they are floating on a cloud, instead of freezing in the middle of winter. Great cadence, nice beats and uplifting lyrics make this a sure fire winner.
Listener & EQ
Deepspace5 MC and Sage Francis sound-a-like proves his worth on the follow up to 2003’s “Whispermoon”. EQ cuts the tracks with twangy blues guitars, harmonicas and crackling vocal samples. What makes this record stand above a lot of what is floating around right now though are the drums. From the pounding bass drums to the ear-popping snares, this album’s percussion will pick you up, slap you in the face and then nick your wallet. An absolute belter.
Pissed Off Stef, Promise Of Stress or just plain P.O.S., it doesn’t matter because after a minute of this, the first single from his upcoming second album “Audition”, you’ll be kicking back trying to figure out just when modern hip hop got so punk rock. The MC used to be in a punk band before taking the rapping route, but he is back to his roots with a guitar led sample, earth trembling bass and sung chorus. His angry, pushed out delivery gives the track a dark rush-hour feel and proves the brilliance of his debut album “Ipecac Neat” was no fluke.
So there it is again, the second instalment of “The Mix“. I hope you found something you like, or think you might like. That is my aim anyway, to try and help people along in their quest to find MORE music! As I said in the last instalment, every time I update The Mix I will be droppin’ some links to some decent websites that I’ve stumbled upon. I will also be sharing some of the best graffiti I’ve seen on my travels. Here is the pick of the month.
David Earl Dixon aka Dist.One has some of the best art out there right now and he is also making waves with his work related directly to his up and coming UK skateboard company The Harmony. Look out for his art show at the 88b Gallery space below the CIDE skateshop that kicks off on the 14th December. Click here for the info on this exhibition.
This is the local hip hop set up near me. This is for the people closer to the midlands. Getting better all of the time!
This is for the some of the best hip hop diversity around.
If you want to send me any tunes to review or graffiti you want some credit for, drop me an email and I’ll pass on my address for you to send stuff to.
Peace. I’ll see you all in a fortnight.