Monday, December 21, 2009

Once Again!!! TML Radio on the Comeback

You thought we slipped up didn't ya? Never, B.A. Baracus and I are back once again with the jams and slow burners for your ear hole! Download this shit here and be sure to drop some comments to let us know if you are getting with what we got goin on over here!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

TML Radio Returns!

So after much delay it is my pleasure to reintroduce you to TML Radio. As you may remember this was a tradition begun towards the end of last year. Gone are the "hot" new tracks from 2db, instead it is myself and partner in crime B.A. Baracus coming together again like we used to do in college. We are dropping whatever we feel like and talking that shit. If you like what you hear drop us a line and let us know what you think!

TML Radio Vol. 2 Issue 1

Thursday, December 10, 2009

November Heatrocks

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Oh shit! It took me far to long to get up in here with November's heatrocks. Y'all didn't really think I'd drop October on ya and split? Yeah, I feel you. But I didn't I'm right here! November was great and in getting settled back in Seattle I also got to catch up on music both locally and nationally.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm getting heavy into some electronic tunes. Towards the beginning of the month I was listening to this comp Aquatic Lab Sessions and the track “Right Here” from Flash just struck me. Reminding me of Burial and why I got into dubstep to begin with this song is haunting. The vocals will stick with you and the beat is hypnotic. Great stuff!

Yesterday I took the time to give BK-One's album Radio Do Canibal a spin and it rocks. Another great release from RSE this year. What else is new right? It's great to see them getting some recognition from bigger artists (thanks Jake) and while this album is mostly the indy artists you would expect a couple surprises remain. B Ali teams with Scarface for, as you would imagine, a stellar track Black Thought also makes a great appearance (when doesn't he?). But the track I have here is a little folk tune stuck in the middle of a thorough Hip Hop album. Aby Wolf sings a great song over some chopped up guitar and mellow drums. Something tells me BK put to use all those records he has dug up while on tour.

In high school my friend Faith was about the most eclectic girl in school. Listening to J Pop and who knows what else, she exposed me to some stuff I don't listen to anymore and some stuff I do. I recently got a mixtape of hers and it's as to be expected filled with random selections. But this song by Rasputina with it's use of static like guitars and the womans vocals just kept me coming back.

Everyone has been quick to deem the new Clipse album trash, I haven't given it a spin yet but I'm not gonna jump to any conclusions. The lead of single with Cam is HOT! The former Dip leader never disappoints with a guest verse and the Thornton brothers are in usual form.

Macklemore has made his triumphant return to music, teaming with Ryan Lewis for the Vs. project. Taking a number of modern rock songs and sampling them into whole new arrangements, it's an awesome demonstration of sampling as art – here's hoping they don't get caught. “Otherside” addresses drug use in our lives and of course gives Mack a chance to talk about his own issues with syrup and other substances. It's a great song. Powerful and moving. Far to often in rap drug use is praised almost to the point of abuse and it's a bold move to take the opposite stance. Everyone is behind Mack in the town and he has picked up right where he was at the peak of The Language of My World.

One day I'm gonna get that Dam Funk interview up here, but until then I hope you have heard Toeachizown. I would recommend getting each EP separately as you get five additional tracks that aren't on the double disc CD edition. Kon of Kon & Amir decided to grab one of Mr. Funk's beats and lace the Biggie A Capella from “Goin Back to Cali” over it which is genius and sounds like it was meant to be. If anyone has a good copy of the A Capella and would like to shoot it my way I'll post a better version of this as this is a radio rip.

Blu is one of the most promising new emcees to emerge in the recent years. On his collaborative album with Mainframe they tacked a hidden track on at the end that samples a certain prominent voice. I've given many of these songs very high praise, let's just say you should take the time to listen to this one.

Sometimes that early 90s grimey rap just sounds good and sometimes a couple kids from NY make some new music that sounds retro. Bang Em Smurf & Domination dropped an album on Koch after falling out with 50 and the Unit. The album is pretty much whatever but everything about “I'll Be Around” is perfect.

Blockhead has always produced some of the best tracks Aesop Rock ever rapped on and his own solo work is equally impressive. If you haven't smoked some blunts and watched the Music By Cavelight visuals you are missing out. Here he remixes Regina Spektor in his usual spooky style. Her voice fits well with that and this track makes you wonder what they might do if they got in the lab together?

Another victim of the Wax Poetics Brazil issue, I had to go back and give Arthur Verocai's album another spin. It's a cool album that is worth a google blog search for if you are at all interested in Brazilian music from the 70s. This song of course is what 9th flipped for Luda and Common. Enjoy!

By now Felt has sort of lost it's luster to me. Now that it seems to be just another avenue for them to market the brand rather than a couple friends making a record it seems different. Does that mean I'm mad at them for selling out? I guess that's what it sounds like. So be it. Slug and Murs are great dudes and the music is cool, just old. Worth a couple spins and a shrug of the shoulders. But “Bass for Your Trunk” is the contradiction and proof that anyone can exist in an industry where singles rule the game.

I've kept a Michael Jackson Motown retrospective on my computer for quite some time now. Partially for Steph and partially for my own good. Having heard songs intermittently and only dug up a couple of records it has proven a good education. I love old soul songs that just vamp out and give you that instrumental stew we call the FUNK. “I Am Love Pts. 1 & 2” does just that and gives the rest of the 5 more shine than many of the hits.

You all probably remember my Slaughterhouse review, well that didn't make me any less excited for the Royce album. I've thought about writing a review for Street Hop but I just can't do it. The first song turns me off for some reason and I never get excited again. I can't seem to really make it past this song right here. Primo production with Phonte on the hook and Royce spitting. If only Tay had decided to dust off the rhyme book and give us just one sixteen!

Of course by now Fly Lo's epic woozy take on Wayne's own epically hazy “I Feel Like Dying” has made the rounds but fuck it, this song is nasty!

Cunnin came to town just before Thanksgiving and in planning to go to the show I decided to give the newest album a spin or two. I did that and was out of the show before they spit one bar. Sorry. Did catch Grieves and it was good to see him rock back in the town. Congrats on the RSE deal, and good luck – I hope it works out for you. This song off Strange Journey Vol. 2 is a Kentucky meets Seattle jam with Grieves, Macklemore and Geo riding over a Kno beat and Decon doing his thing.

I've recently become acquainted with the Fader music blog and it's on point! This track is the one I never thought I'd find. Nicki Minaj rocking over some Chase & Status banger, according to Fader it was a Rhianna reference track, but it's way harder dubstep than she even gets close to on that rated G of an album. Yeah I listened to it and it's terrible. Not sure what made me think it wouldn't be but don't say I don't try something at least once. End of rant, check this Nicki track – unless you want to be able to say you've never heard her wreck a beat.

This post should have been up before Go! Machine – long story about a computer with no battery – but instead you have already (hopefully?) seen my thoughts on the event and also you hopefully (?) grabbed the mixes from P Smoov & DJ Swervewon. If so than you heard this Grynch/Smoov collaboration and know what magic it is. If you somehow missed it and want to hear the busiest rapper in Seattle rock over the busiest and best producer in Town get hip to “Your On.”

The SOTA boys took some time out last week to chop it up with me and hopefully I'll have those words up here soon. But until then get to their bandcamp page and get familiar. They have a lot of work that shows some great progression and of course the Hank Moody EP is there which is the finest collection of three tracks released in 2009. If you need convincing peep “My Shine” from it. Get Californicated ya'll!

Grab the .zip file here and leave some comments, if you think I'm crazy about some of these selections let me know it! I've already got several selections primed for this month's collection so be prepared – it's getting heavy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thoughts, Post Go! Machine

I returned to Seattle 54 days ago. Just in time to see probably my favorite rapper of all time grace the stage of Key Arena. I sat at the top of the stadium that once housed the Sonics and was awed. Four days ago I experienced the same feeling standing in the crowd at the Crocodile for the first night of Go! Machine, an event that's been described as Seattle's (Hip Hop) Woodstock.

We all knew it was coming. Radjaw and the rest of the OFS crew put in the work they have a reputation for and threw a great couple of shows. My return to Seattle was inspired by the fact Jigga was coming, but my staying was wholly connected to the music happening here. When I heard Pomz say this summer “Who get's to say they were in Seattle when Grunge was blowing up?”, we both new that those in Seattle circa 2009 are the lucky few who will get to say they were part of something new, something different, something inspiring once again found within the artist community here.
Get it here!
Hip Hop has a long history in the town. From “Baby Got Back” to Helladope, Tribal and The Language of My World the music has been marinating and maturing for years. From the moment I first moved here the talk was “will this be the year?” Gone are the questions. 2009 Seattle artists don't care. We aren't waiting for anyone to validate us. We're taking our goals, hopes and dreams. If you can't get with it then stand to the side.

And that's the beautiful thing: No one is standing to the side. The petty “beefs” and stylistic differences that exist between artists are being tossed aside in exchange for stellar collaborations and musical magic. Hearing Jake and Vita unify with the Sport N Life fam, hearing (and seeing – Go! Machine night 1 highlight minus the feedback) Fences rock with the Champagne gang, or Grynch getting called to the Neumos stage by Warren G – all of these events and more have brought me tremendous joy since coming home.

This return has been a bittersweet struggle as I continue to look for work and hope for something, anything to keep me here in the town. My own personal drama's are eased by the love that is in the scene. Knowing that a set from Fresh will abate all worries for at least a few minutes gets me by. The quarter of my iTunes that is Seattle music, guaranteeing a NW tune is never far from play in shuffle, makes me smile. Being able to tell friends that “Yes, Seattle has Hip Hop – and it's fucking dope!”.

Scrunch Yo Face!
These and a million more things prove to me that I'm doing the right thing being here. Music has always been my life, my savior, my friend and sole companion. Never once have I lived somewhere that what I loved so much was also coming from the same soil I call home. It's a special feeling that gives me hope. Hope for this writing shit. Hope for the music still to be made. Hope for a music industry that has been ravaged. Hope for a future I saw once before.

Mad Rad's Go! Machine might just be a time traveling device - they didn't lie, they are traveling from the future and giving the people something for the dark times. If you still aren't on board just step to the side. Otherwise, I hope you have recovered well enough from the weekend cause the OFS camp is giving the town an encore tonight, performing for the first time at Showbox Sodo to a sold out crowd. What's a Kid Cudi?