It’s December and the year is nearly over, but before 2008 brings new releases, I’ve reviewed some latest AA approved records and the last of 2007. So have a look below and check out the beats!
RECORD OF THE MONTH
DOOMTREE – False Hopes
Let’s open the scene:
Abjekt says: I’m doing a Doomtree buzzer, shall I just suck cock for the entire thing?
Moose says: Yes, completely.
So, with Moose’s backing, welcome to the wonderful world of Abjekt Loves Doomtree. The Minneapolis crew have been tearing the underground of hip hop various levels of new arseholes for a while and with a crew record expected in 2008, they very kindly put out a crew False Hopes, comprising tunes that weren’t quite up to scratch for the album.
After hearing the record, it’s clear to me that Doomtree have just wiped the floor with 99% of music with their scraps. If this is anything to go by, their crew album is going to blow brains faster than a Bangkok ladyboy with Guinness World Records on his mind.
“You’re mad coz you don’t make moves, you’re sad coz you can’t break through, you’re bad and now you hate Doomtree, knives on fire motherfucker, make room” they tell us, and who are we to argue? Take cover, Doomtree are here.
OHMEGA WATTS – Watt’s Happening
What is always important when listening to good hip hop? Elementary my dear Watson, it’s the drums. If your drums don’t pop, the song might as well stop. If your beats don’t bang, you lose your hunger pang. And if that percussion ain’t fly, then why do you try? So the first thing you get to notice about Ohmega Watts‘ music is that his drums are ALWAYS on point, with absolutely no exception.
His previous album The Find was a great example of this with chilled out tracks galore and it was always going to be hard to follow such a good record. However, with Watts Happening, the producerslashrapper has made an even better record, utilising his vast repertoire of sounds and skills to bring a near perfect album to your ears.
One stand out track is Roc The Bells featuring his crew Lightheaded [Othello and Braille] and shows that he can mix it up with some bangers amongst his chilled out vibes. With a catchy hook, some fierce rapping and those oh so important drums, Ohmega is proving himself to be one of the best producers around.
The brilliant use of drums continues on The Platypus Strut, the intro of which is a sublime growing layer of percussion before launching into [dare I say it?] Ronson-esque horns. And with other guests such as Surreal, Jneiro Jarel and Sugar Pie DeSanto, you know you’re in for an absolute treat.
SHAPE OF BROAD MINDS – Craft Of The Lost Art
Jneiro Jarel has clearly been taking lessons from Madlib. This is no bad thing, with Madlib being one of the most highly regarded producer in hip hop and Craft Of The Lost Art could easily be a creation belonging to the great man himself.
As it is, Jneiro Jarel and his alter-ego Dr Who Dat? [I wonder if the good Doctor knows Quasimoto?] have brought together his friends Jawwaad, Roque Wun and Panama Black to bring about the album which also features guest spots from Count Bass D and MF Doom amongst others.
The sound is very Stones Throw and this is certain to appeal all those who dig that label, of which I am one. Whilst it does get slightly samey after a while, with the album clocking in at 23 tracks, it is still a good chilled sound to kick back to. The one track that stands out however, is the anomaly in the album – Opr8tr – which features a xylophone beat with some silky smooth vocals on the incredibly addictive chorus.
It’s time to broaden your mind and cop this, without a doubt.
FLYING LOTUS – Reset EP
Growing up as one of the Coltrane family can’t have been easy. Everyone is going to mention it, everyone is going to expect genius and that’s going to put a whole heap of pressure on a budding musician. Luckily, Flying Lotus is someone who doesn’t care about pressure and set about making a quality EP to ready the world for his full album next year.
Tea Leaf Dancers comes straight in with it’s fluid beat, getting the amibence down immediately for the Sunday night feel of the vocals to impress upon your temples in understated fashion. Spicy Sammich shows another side of the producer with its gloomy electro-like stance and Massage Situation flips is again with a plodding beat.
This may only be a 6 track EP, but Flying Lotus has shown a great deal of promise and looks set to invade your ear-space again next year – I can’t wait!
2600 RECORDINGS – Home Entertainment
Norwich isn’t the first place you’d think of when asked about hip hop, but 2600 Recordings are certainly doing their bit to make sure you know exactly what the Norwich based label is worth after hearing this CD.
Kicking off in fine zoned-out mood is the Ambulance Chasers track GHC which gets your head floating before melting into SirHowy‘s I Remember Cocoon Union. You get a nice mix of stuff too with Buddy Peace‘s more fuzzy approach and Mr Cooper, who was recently picked out by Sage Francis delivering the best track on the album, reminiscent of another Francis favourite Reanimator. The drums play out over a great piano loop before throwing in a hotch potch of tiny details for you to pick up on.
With 2600 Recordings bringing this much talent to the fore, it’s certainly time to take notice if you haven’t already.
PREFUSE 73 – Preparations
Prefuse 73 is most certainly an acquired taste. This is a man that produces some of the most beautiful melodies around and then, just as you’re getting into it, provides his trademark glitch and you lose your pattern which is something you have to get used to.
What is always evident with Prefuse though is that he knows exactly how to put music together. It might be a very busy sound, like getting lost in a market in some hot foreign country or it might be a laid back beat, but whatever it is he chooses to explore, he does it with so much depth and perception, that you can’t help but admire the man.
His new album, Preparations, is a continuation of all the things I loved about One Word Extinguisher and Security Screenings – his use of live instrumentation on this album however gives it an edge and texture that perhaps wasn’t on the previous albums. With help from Claudia and Alejandra Deheza and John Stanier, Prefuse has managed to deliver on an enormous scale.
If you can get tuned into his mindset, you’re in for an absolute treat.
BIG DADA – Well Deep
Let’s make this simple – Big Dada isn’t just a record label, it’s an institution. It’s 10th birthday is upon us and to celebrate it, the label has put out Well Deep, a CD/DVD set that celebrates everything the label has done since its inception.
The audio part of package comes across 2 CDs with a choice selection of tracks which showcase just how powerful and varied the music signed to the label is. All the bangers are there, from Witness (1 Hope) by Roots Manuva to TTC‘s Dans Le Club, from Diplo‘s Diplo Rhythm through Spank Rock‘s Sweet Talk, Wiley‘s 50/50 and Ty‘s Closer to Wherever We Go by New Flesh.
It’s an unstoppable tour de force, just as the label has proven itself to be over the years. If you don’t know much about Big Dada then you’re missing out. Get this, support the people behind this great array of music and enjoy yourself.
For the DVD review, click here.
THE QEMISTS – Drop Audio [Single]
“Surrender or run” says the press release for this single and it’s not hard to see why. The Qemists are back with another chunky slice of DnB with their new single Drop Audio, which features the lyrical prowess of MC I.D.
The booming bass builds up before breaking down into a fuzzy melody which runs the gauntlet through the airwaves and ends up grabbing you by the collar and slapping your face before winking at you and walking off smiling.
This is exactly the sort of thing you’d dig if you’re into Pendulum. Can’t say much more than that really.
PENDULUM – Granite [Single]
Pendulum are back and this time they’re on Warner Bros. ready to take their definitive style of rock-infused Drum and Bass to the masses. The debut single from their upcoming album is Granite and it is exactly the type of track you’d expect from the Australian born group.
A spooky intro leads into some fast paced drums and a short, sharp guitar lick before the big boom of the full track comes in. It’s not long before the vocals come in and they do take a bit of getting used to, but once this song is over, you’ll be singing it over and over in your head.
With a UK tour currently taking place with a full band, they are sure to be wowing people up and down the country showcasing their new stuff. This single is bound to be a winner, even if you’re not a DnB fan.
Just before I leave you, I want to share some lego train bombing with you. It’s short but it’s fucking dope:
Ok, that’s your lot. I’ve had a brilliant year for music and 2008 promises to be just as good with albums from Atmosphere, POS, Kid Sister, The Cool Kids, Reanimator & Prolyphic and much more promised. I hope you all had a great Christmas and a great time seeing 2008 in. See you in the New Year!