As much of a vinyl fiend as I may be, I'm still a notorious downloader of music. It's not that I don't like to buy new music... I just enjoy too many things to be dropping money left and right. Not to mention how the whole laid off thing kinda changes your spending habits. With downloading comes a constant shifting of albums and tracks to and from hard drives and for me I often get lost in a few things and eventually have to shove them into the dark recesses of said drive so as to move on to whatever else I might have found.
The last couple days have been especially grueling as my laptop is steadily telling me I'm running out of space (as are the externals) and I realized I have the same 10 things extracted that I did a month ago. Obviously I've been listening to more than just those albums, but anything that has stayed in the rotation that long deserves at least a quick look. So here are my thoughts on a few things that have piqued my interest (not so) recently.
Teaming up for round 2 Travis Barker and DJ AM dropped off this edition of Fix Your Face just in time for Coachella and if they were trying to get a party started this should certainly do the job. Filled with plenty of upbeat rock tunes, many of which are mashed up and remixed with electro sounds, prove that this duo of drummer and DJ has a keen ear for that good shit!
From some new jack swing to Van Halen (original into a wild remix) to some classic Biggie and Jay and the Northwests always loved Nirvana and a little bit of everything in between this truly is an eclectic mix guaranteed to get the party started. I first gave this a spin while kicking it on a lake a tad to early to really be out on the water but with tunes like these no one cared about the mild weather or gray skies that moved in towards the afternoon – you know we were already faded.
Grab it here if you missed the original twitter download invite!
Next up is probably my favorite crew doing it in Philly at the moment, no dis to Beans and the SP's, Outerspace! The team of Crypt and Planetary consistently drop bangers and are grinding it out on there own terms. Of course their extended fam JMT and the Pharaohs are always with 'em and just like the transformers they may step away but when the time is right they unify into something dangerous.
A bit ago they put out A Tribute to Gang Starr which really seems more like an homage to Premier as they are rocking over his classic jams from the GS catalog but neither really have any particular semblance to Guru – not a bad thing, as dope as he was we all know he got boring (not to mention that dude is straight crazy - shouts to Meli). Apathy makes a stellar appearance on “Soliloquy of Chaos” as does Block McCloud on the awesome “Speak Ya Clout.” If you have been missing that classic Gang Starr sound than this is definitely for you. Flowing smoothly and demonstrating clever rhymes and good stories you are bound to be impressed by this young team that won't be stopping anytime soon.
If you didn't see the link on their blog or the myspace, it's available here for your listening pleasure!
We all love the mighty Mos Def. Well maybe not everyone. But we have all seen the journey he has taken and while some keep begging for a return to Black on Both Sides he routinely shits on the idea of staying in a box and doing what is expected. With the release of The Ecstatic he kinda caught us all off guard demonstrating more rapping than we'd seen in a minute (although to be fair I never really gave that last one a real listen – something about how it was released and the packaging just kept me away... asked the label) but still pushing the boundaries with some great, if experimental (by traditional Hip Hop standards), beats that if given a chance might just impress. Plus his singing isn't dissipating any; not sure about you but that's a plus in my book. "Umi Says" still one of the best jams ever! RIP Weldon Irvine.
Filled with sounds from across the world (and some languages other than English too) the fourth album from Mos shows us that he is firmly aware of what he wants to do as an artist and no one is changing his direction. He is carving his own lane and if you can't ride than don't worry, he won't bother you. If you are willing to dive in however you will be blown away by the dirtiness. What feels like it was crafted out of the dirt and grime this record is filled with dusty samples and is a great showing of the multiple talents held within the brain of this modern musical genius. The results aren't always pretty (although on tracks like “Auditorium” you might forget this fact, thanks in part to the stellar guest spot courtesy of Slick Rick) but they serve a purpose. His flow is still in tact and if you are in search of that OG Mos Def this is perhaps the closest he's come or may ever come again.
Not something to be listened to lightly, put this on in the head phones or at a time when you can actually devour what exactly is unfolding in your ears. Not for the lighthearted, The Ecstatic will generate much thought and ideas for those who can accept the growth of a true Hip Hop artist.
Don't sleep on Georgia Anne Muldrow either! I'm sure you fine internet savy blog people will have no problem finding this album - the legal department recommends not dropping this one... Here are a few tracks if you are interested!
"Life in Marvelous Times"