Welcome, once again, to the Mix. Spring is just around the corner, though still very cold up here in the north but the sun does keep making an appearance on most days…… Always good to kick off with a little rant about the weather! It’s been a good month for new releases, must be people biting the bullet and getting back into work after the festive season. There’s a big bad bunch of British 12″s, Lp’s, 7″s and CD’s surrounding me in my office at the minute; some are superb! They will be praised and promoted by many im sure of it. Some are absolute turd and just won’t get a mention from anyone if my keen UK ear serves me correctly. Well, on with some of the superb ones.
The Butterfly Effect
First up is someone I have been hearing about a lot lately. We have already visited the singles released from this album late last year. But since the Album has just been released I thought it was well worth a visit. I am fond of almost any music coming out of Notts, even the craziest drum and bass I’ve heard in years. There are a lot of grafters putting their life and soul into this shit which gives the music a solid authenticity. C-Mone demonstrates her hard work with the release of a top quality album with a collection of mind-blowing skills, some down to earth hard hitting home truths and a generous helping of C-Mones’ upbringing – which cleverly lets you take a step into her life, and life in and around Nottingham. Some of which I can largely relate to, having lived there for a good part of my life. Probably the best part up to now. The Album features some of the best guests I could think of to invite. These include; Pariz 1, Cappo, Matic, Smiley, Cizzi Grim Pijin & Midnyte, with production by Nick Stez, Marga Boyz, DJ Fever, P Brothers, and Smiley’s Ill-Mannered Productions. What a line up!
The few tracks I’ve picked from this album are in order of preference “The Magnificent 7” is a great track with some heavy beats. You can just hear P Brothers all over this one. Some hot beats here. Check each verse as different artists explode into action displaying some mad skills and timing. The next track on the CD is “Inside Out” and it is a beauty. Some nice flows in this one and I just think that accent lashes out ruthless words like the crack of a whip! And of course track 5 “Second After Second” as I’ve already said is a very intelligent track on my review of the single.
Check this mutha out at http://www.karmadownload.com/album/?2142279 or http://www.tunetribe.com/Artist?artist_id=10254 you can have a listen at any of these sites.
MC Elemental vs Digital Midgets
Next up is a freebee for all you peeps that are skint, and its well worth the download I promise you. This is another one from MC Elemental down in Brighton. He is working on three different albums at the moment a solo, a new menagerie and a project with the Lo Fi All-stars. This one is a massive mix (an hour or so long) with Digital Midgets remixes, Menagerie, Dr Syntax, Monkey Sons and a few others. It’s a crazy mix up of all sorts of funky, electrical, mashed beats and rhymes, kind of an Aphex Twin blast at a hip hop CD. Those of you that went out and bought the Menagerie album “Wild Kingdom” will recognise some lyrics from that over some much more experimental beats. Yep, I like it and I reckon that you will. Check this lot out, they’ve got a good sense of humour, something we all need in these hard times or whatever. No guns, six fours with chromes, nines and clips, or any of that bullshhhhh…
These are the instructions I was given to get hold of this little treasure.
Get on this: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=L8MW864U
1) Wait 45 seconds
2) Close advertising pop-up that covers the download tab
4) Jump around to top tunes :) … or something like that.
Kids In Tracksuits
Get Your Kit On
Here we have it! The new Kids in Tracksuits limited 7″ EP “Get your KIT on“. This selection of three tracks is very innovative, much different to your usual mix tape style of cutting beats, throwing in some samples and scratching over the top. From listening to the 3 tracks you can hear the time and effort that has gone into putting this 7” together. There has been plenty of planning and organising the order of each cut, sample and the wild scratching that blends in with each tune. Definitely worth the buy.
There are 3 tracks on the EP 1) Uprock Theme, 2) Rock and Roll, 3) Get Your KIT on. My personal favourite is Rock and Roll, just listen to the scratching rip shit out of the old skool beats.
I haven’t seen Kids in Tracksuits live yet but im sure it will be a real treat when I finally get there. Have a look at http://www.dealmakerrecords.com/getyourkiton.htm to find out more.
If you’re about any of these venues you should come check a Kids live show —
Nottingham – 17th March @ The Rescue Rooms
London – 20th March @ 93 Feet East
Nottingham – 24th March @ The Social
Nottingham – 21st April @ The Rescue Rooms
Sheffield – 22nd April @ The Plug
This week’s sites and sounds:
And yet another bit of work I saw on my travels:
That’s that for me, I’ve had a crazy week this week. Ill see you lot soon. Take it easy.
Welcome back to another update from Tyrannosaurus Jekt. Once again I’m here to bring you the best of the stuff I’ve heard since I last updated and recommend you some tasty morsels that I’m sure will go down well with whatever intoxicating beverage you’re currently supping on. Right, on with the show:
St Elsewhere Sampler
Biggest buzz and hype of 2006 has to go, without a doubt, to the new Danger Mouse project Gnarls Barkley, where he teams up with Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo who blew it up on the Danger Doom track Benzi-Box. Usually much hyped groups can only disappoint after all the expectation placed on their shoulders, but Gnarls is an exception, bringing out some awesome tracks that will have even the most miserable of grouches breaking out into dance.
The first single, Crazy, is being whored all over the radio with good reason, with the plodding drums being sung over by Cee-Lo, who you can imagine beaming in the studio as he belts out his vocals. Go Go Gadget Gospel, a track which can be heard over on their myspace page, has a superb rolling piano loop running up and down alongside one of the most catchy brass sections I’ve heard before hitting the ears with a choir’s backing. It lifts you up, spins you round and drops you in a cassock so you can be clapping and praising everyone along to the music.
Gone Daddy Gone has a nice 80s feel to it, with staccato electro beats and a fuzzy guitar loop in the chorus. Cee-Lo’s high voice plays well alongside the Blondie-esque vibe and shows yet another side to Danger Mouse’s brilliant production. Even when the mood turns to a rainy night vibe, and Cee-Lo sings about “naughty necrophilia” you still sway with the beat and appreciate just how well the two sides of the group work together. You even get the luxury of hearing a dirty bluesy guitar number being sampled underneath some fuzzy drums which breaks into a faster rhythm for the chorus, again perfectly complimenting Cee-Lo’s sung parts.
Danger Mouse was first known for his mash up of The Beatles, but now his production is so strong and fun that all HE needs is love. And after hearing this album, trust me, you’ll be aching to give him yours.
This is something you won’t see very often – Abjekt bigging up a release from Anticon. Whilst the West Coast label has moved further and further away from hip hop, Jeffrey Logan, whose production credits can be found on the seminal hip hop album Lucy Ford [by Atmosphere], has dragged the Ant-fronted label back into the sphere of the genre. His previous work had been excellent, but this new album takes him to an entirely higher level and proves why he is the shining light of the label.
All Day Breakfast brings in flavour from the East, with a dreamy melody that evokes images of a sunset on an island off India, with busy drums rattling around an almost chanting use of instruments. All Around brings in a fuzzy atmosphere which supplants military drums underneath a spoken sample before rolling in with a distorted underscore as the spoken sample turns into a head turning singing part.
Jel always keeps his listeners on their toes and from the scratching and staccato rapping in Trashin to beautifully late night feel of Know You Don’t, there is always a switch up which will surprise you, which will leave you guessing but which will ultimately have you nodding your head in approval, knowing full well that Jel has plenty more tricks up his sleeve, but that each trick will be worth the wait.
The more orthodox hip hop tracks, such as WMD, don’t feel out of place amongst his instrumentals as he is able to work his complex techniques around the raps without compromising the sound he has built up throughout the course of the album.
Jel uses everything on this album. Dark beats, happy beats, twanging guitar samples [Sweet Cream In It is arguably the track of the album] and even sped up samples which sound exactly as the song title Chipmunk Technique would have you imagine bring a full and complete touch to Soft Money. You want it? Jel’s got it. This feels like its going to be up there with the best instrumental albums I’ve heard, it really is that good.
The Joe Beats Experiment
Indie Rock Blues
Joe Beats, most famous for his brilliant production with the Sage Francis fronted Non Prophets [on their excellent album Hope], has done something I didn’t think anyone would do. He’s gotten me to listen to Indie. And not the Indie you find in the NME, but the stuff that you have to dig around to find. The album is described on his own site as “Danceable melancholia for the depressed” and that is as apt a description as I’ve ever read. From the opening track, M Ward’s Sad, Sad Song, you know that this isn’t going to be a party record, but at the same time, Joe is able to manipulate the song so that you still find yourself moving your head in time with the beat.
The best track on the album for me, and one that I always put on repeat is his remix of The Black Heart Procession’s When We Reach The Hill. The guitar sample is a hook which pulls you in and the floating vocals trap you inside the song and, whilst this makes for a great track anyway, it’s the drums and percussion which make the song stand out. It gives the entire piece an uplifting feel and if I didn’t know this was a remix of another song, I’d have believe it to be a straight up underground hip hop record.
Whilst I haven’t listened to many of the originals of the tracks that Joey uses on this album, I am assuming that they do sound very different to the articles that appear on this cd. But regardless, the drums on every single song show such a brilliant variety and depth that you appreciate the arrangement and production on this album hugely, whether or not you’ve heard the original. Not once do the drums feel out of place around the vocals or melody they are coupled with.
As Songs:Ohia’s Coxcomb Red plays out to wrap up Indie Rock Blues, one thing has become obvious – This is a great album. The litmus test for me, which Joe Beats passes with ease, is that this album could stand alone as a hip hop album. That he is able to chop up these songs and splice them with the kind of beats I’d want on an album anyway, shows just how diverse and talented he is. Humble as Beats is, he must know he’s produced a diamond here. I’m a hip hop fan who loves it. My friend is a fan of the likes of M Ward, Andrew Bird and June Of 44 and she loves it. Buy this record as soon as you can. It’ll bring introduce you to whichever side of the path you weren’t into before. Amazing.
Kill The Vultures
Kill The Vultures
Last update I spoke about a much loved group of mine named Oddjobs, and their split, when I reviewed the awesome Power Struggle album. Well this time around, it’s the turn of the other group from the split, Kill The Vultures, which take centre stage. With Anatomy on the beats, a gloomy production surrounds the whole album, giving the listener an uneasy feel, as if a post-Armageddon world with things around the corner were lying in wait. The vibrating guitar sample in Beasts Of Burden jumps from out of nowhere as the MCs, Crescent Moon, Advizer and Nomi break out their booming vocals, accompanied by percussion which doesn’t keep the beat but more holds it at knifepoint.
This album isn’t going to be for people who want to just throw something on whilst they’re getting ready to go out. And that’s what makes it such an enthralling listen. There are so many things going on in Anatomy’s production, but they all run alongside each other without muddling the track. Deep basses, unorthodox drums and the rapping of three MCs who have a world weary sound. Any rose tinted glasses that may have been worn are well and truly smashed underfoot by the Minnesota crew.
7-8-9 is the track which stands out most for me on this release. The distorted guitars strum behind a hugely powerful drum beat which runs around throbbing samples and insists you pay attention as the jangle of bells continues throughout. There is so much to listen to, before you even start listening to the brilliantly lo-fi delivery of the rappers, and that is a testament to the group. You don’t want to finish listening to this CD until you’ve heard every last little part of the music. If Oddjobs got cornered into an alley, beaten up and spat on, you’d get the sound of Kill The Vultures. Awesome.
Alias & Tarsier
Next up is a 7″ from Anticon producer Alias and Tarsier of Healamonster & Tarsier fame. The typically floating and softly spoken melody underlayed with busy Alias beats are the best canvas to showcase the art of Tarsier, with dreamy vocals draped over the beat. It starts off slowly, gaining impetus throughout before delivering a sure fire late night winner. Alias’ beats can always be counted on for atmospherics, but the coupling of his production with the talents of Tarsier brings out the best of both.
Check out this single at www.myspace.com/aliasandtarsier and you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Desdamona has managed to combine both spoken word and hip hop, alongside steel drummed rhythms, courtesy of legendary duo Sly and Robbie in this release. From the intro I Wanted 2 B An MC you hear where Desdamona’s brilliance lies, in her lyrics, as she takes you on a ride through a world made up of hip hop greats, moving us from Digable Planets and seeing a little Redman and some Beastie Boys.
What is also impressive is that she sounds completely at home amongst all the differing beats she has on the album. Laid back We Will Always B suits her best of all, allowing her sultry tone to move around the soft cymbals and and the understated beat. And Planet Remix showcases the production, with pianos, chopped strings and shaking percussion as she states “if you drop beats like I flip words…we could change worlds” and one the basis of this album, no-one would doubt her. She should certainly not be labelled as “poet” or “spoken word artist” because she has a broad style and it is that that makes The Ledge definitely one to check out.
Kill That Noise
From the opening few moments of the second track on this album, the Big Jess [of Unknown Prophets fame] produced Higher Ground, you know you’ll be able to bop your head to this album. The rolling piano sample lacing the back of the track gives a perfect platform for Capaciti to let his people know he just trying to reach the higher ground.
The following track, 1 2 3, breaks in the kind of beat that brings up images of twisted carnivals and is reminiscent of Grayskul, and allows Capaciti to rap with confident ability and he shows his truth worth on Messin With My Mind which has one of the best beats on the album, the strings pulling his vocals all over and the fast paced drums adding an extra dimension to his output.
This album might not be the most outstanding collection of music you’ve ever heard, but if you dig booming drums and the sort of hip hop you’d imagine Stephen King would listen to, then you should give this a spin.
Have Mic, Will Travel
Next up is a double album from versatile MC Carpetface. The British rapper, beatboxer and producer has managed to put out 38 tracks which he’s made over the past 3 years and shows his versitility as he switches from the Stereo MCs sounding Positive Formula which skips along with a beat and female back vocals to the jazzy Bug In The System which sounds like its drawn its influence from the old Digable Planets style double bassline.
The best track on the album is the fast paced and vibrating Better Do Right which floats around swerving piano samples as Carpetface plays cat and mouse with the beat, throwing out limited vocals in all the right places. It’s only when you hear “I saw the gimp” that you realise that even in his musical element, the MC likes to spring a surprise or two into his collection. Eclectic and clearly taking from all corners of the musical spectrum, this is one who like a brainsplurge on record.
Just a quick little shout out to a mixtape that’s out in March called Broken Tracks And Dirty Music from a colourful character called Johnny Crump. Basically, this guy mixes up all sorts of crazy shit, knocking out Metallica in the middle of a choir singing. If he can do that and get away with it, you know it’s worth a listen. You can check him out at www.dealmakerrecords.com
Have a little shot of a couple of stickers put up in LA by an artist named Zato One. Simple and yet really effective, cool as you like. In fact, if you see any stickers or graf that you really like, feel free to send the pictures in to me at the address at the bottom of the page. I always love seeing new art.
As always, I’d love to get emails from you readers, if there’s shit you’ve heard on the back of reading this stuff, let me know. If you’re an artist and want to send me your stuff, then please hit me up, I can’t get enough of new hip hop music. The address to write to is: firstname.lastname@example.org and I am sitting here ready and waiting, so don’t let me be a sad bastard, refreshing my email to find an empty inbox.
Until next time you wonderful lot. Peace.