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Clear smoke vinyl, packaged in silver-ink foil jacket Bass assassin dream team Alix Perez and EPROM debut Shades, a commanding new EP on Alpha Pup Records. Fresh and dynamic, the four-track release tickles the limbic system with gravity-distorting bass and inspired hooks. “The Serpent” cuts a swathe through the dance floor, underpinned by an imperious, gritty bassline, replete with head-turning percussion cuts. The back-swung “Chiron"" cloaks a devious, neck-snapping riff in warped melodic deviations. Woozy percussion sits aloft an unsettled slab of electric bassweight on ""Minotaur"". And “Into Light” juxtaposes glory-era rave power chords and arpeggios against echoes of g-funk and hyphy - culminating in a tuned-up footwork flex-out. Vivid. Searing. Groundbreaking. Shades is a gripping release by two masters of their craft.
Astronautica launches the Gemini LP with Alpha Pup Records, piecing together 12 new tracks that bridge the gaps between sultry R&B, uptempo club rhythms and future electronica. Gemini is her sophomore album for the label and follows up on 2014’s Waikiki EP and her label debut from 2013, Replay Last Night. As one of Los Angeles' emerging talents in this era, Astronautica’s defining herself as a prominent and in-demand producer that can pull off intricate guitar harmonies and powerful vocal lines over fully composed song structures. With a tenacity for touring and recording through each year, Gemini is a shining moment in her already impressive career and it can be argued it’s her best work to date. Musically, the dynamic beauty of Gemini opens up immediately with the LP’s opening cut “*69,” giving listeners the full breadth of her style with each passing track. The emotional setting and messages change from piece to piece but it all comes together under one roof of smooth keys, organic drum work, warm bass lines and dynamic guitar blends. Lyrically and vocally, she connects listeners to the deep valley of experiences known as love and projects her vocals in a way she has yet to realize with previous records. You can feel every emotion as the words grab onto each layer with pure cohesion. Like her songwriting, Astronautica's live show continues to show new strengths, moving crowds at the Low End Theory Festival and many other avenues across the States. The Wall Street Journal had the following to say about Astronautica in their coverage of Low End Theory’s second annual music festival. “Astronautica spun warm, swaying electronica, then she picked up an electric guitar and added lush chords to the already-satisfying sound.” [Jim Fusilli, Wall Street Journal]. Gemini is Astronautica evolving to an even higher state of songwriting and will be a stand-out record of 2016.
Limited to 300. Alpha Pup Records is ecstatic to announce the signing of Crem’e to the family roster, scheduled to drop his debut full-length, Close Up, this fall. Hitting both vinyl and digital formats upon release, Close Up is a highly personalized vehicle of sound, created over the last few years as a response to the passing of his mother. An expression of deep roots and a chain of connections that shattered and spliced into millions of parts, Close Up was designed as a means of self-healing and emotional preservation. Crem’e summed up this transition in his life with the following, “It’s like getting rid of a scar and then feeling naked without it.” The musical language of Close Up jumps back and forth between a soulful balance of beauty and pain. Channeling the state of influences his family, friends and environments have afforded him growing up in LA. Many organic elements are seamlessly melded together, brought together through heavy usages of sampling, vocal layering and live recordings. Crem’e further added, “Hip Hop has always been my foundation so it was pretty seamless to create with samples even if it isn’t on the rap tip.” His connection to the community of Los Angeles reflects his foundations in both hip hop and electronica, taking an internship program with the acclaimed Stones Throw Records and becoming an integral member of the staff at Hi Fidelity Records. He’s constantly immersed in the music community he supported for so many years prior, living the life of a dedicated and passionate musician with everyday’s passing. Close Up represents bright moments that glide through mental gardens of sonic delight, molded into unique form in every measure, note and texture. Simply put, Close Up is music that represents the very essence of human connection and particularly the relationships Crem’e fostered over the last two decades. It’s a closer examination of how we transition and embody the themes of our tragedies and triumphs. Walking in the same footsteps as the talented producers who have generated the communities sprawling life through electronica and LA, Crem’e is a producer that strives to achieve beauty in every detail with his music. This detail was amplified with the mixing and mastering work of Alpha Pup label head and Low End co-founder Daddy Kev at Cosmic Zoo.
Download card includes vinyl exclusive Olof Melander remix of album track "Sand Dunes On Mars"Brimming with offbeat beauty, Elusive’s new album Textures features a unique electronic warmth that is created with an infinity of unusual sounds. Dissected vocals and the crackle of lo-fi static permeate the release with layers of soul, a showcase for Elusive’s artful, abundant and multi-layered approach to production. With over 20 releases in his collection since the ‘90s, Elusive has personified instrumental music culture in California for two decades now. Textures comes at a creative spurt in his career and has a breakthrough sound from beginning to end. Few producers in the beat movement can tap into complex rhythm structures and Elusive’s Textures LP goes deep into this territory over the course of the 16 tracks. Nod your head to the looping rhythm of the LP’s opening cut “Moonbeamz,” a hazy, shuffled track with a loose collection of sounds at the bottom of the beat. “Love Is Enough” skates under open skies, an elegant dream of simplicity. "Chants to the Stars” captures the moment an ancient earth tribe meets an alien visitor, and “Live Without U” demands attention with fast-paced drumming and a swarm of whispers. Every song has its own sub-world, connected through the diversity of his past works and the futuristic voyage he continues to embark on. Dreamy and dense, with plenty of juice and vigor – Textures is a thoughtfully intelligent venture into the far-out realm of the modern beat music movement.
Set sail onto a cartoon ocean on a quest to an imaginary world in Wide as the Moonlight, Warm as the Sun. A perfect fit for Daedelus’ label Magical Properties, the new album by Goodnight Cody (of Team Supreme) is an experience of powerful imagery and pure poetic whimsy. Synthesized vocals, colorful toy beats, and charmingly playful dreamscapes create a captivating story of adventure. Every track is like a different land – or level – with all the twists, turns, and emotions that define the hero’s journey: uncertainty, excitement, loneliness, romance, melancholy and victory. Pack your bags for “Travel Alone,” which flips from slow and ponderous to funky and frenetic and back again – infused throughout with stars, so shiny and bright. “Paper Boat” launches into easy pink waves, under a glowing green sky and butter moon. With a childlike sense of wonder, “I Met a Whale” sways side to side in the deep blue sea – inspiring kisses, songs and smiles. “A Walk Through the Trees” pauses in the fresh feel of new love, and “Almost Forgot” expands with rising energy into the sunset. Absorbing and pleasantly unreal, Wide as the Moonlight, Warm as the Sun is a sonic kaleidoscope that ignites the imagination and makes music into a game.
With a path spent traversing between self-illumination and inner turmoil, Gypsy Mamba continues to persevere forward. He is one of California’s most raw and uncompromising electronic artists and rips open new portals of energy during his live performances. Signing with Alpha Pup Records last year for the release of Da Feenux, Gypsy Mamba will soon launch out of the gates with his sophomore record Magnetic Syndromes. Hitting vinyl and digital on January 27, 2017, Gypsy Mamba has crafted his most dynamic and personal record to date. As the title suggests, Magnetic Syndromes is the sonic description of a life filled with unpredictable changes, carved out from the lens intensive view of Gypsy Mamba’s life. It can also be seen outside of the artist, defining the inner conflicts many conquer in their lifetime. Gypsy Mamba finds a battleground between the darkness and the light in Magnetic Syndromes. A unique music environment where tracks fluctuate between the frenetic and the subdued. It’s all pulled off with a wild array of colors and rhythms that can’t be associated to any other artist. Looking at the new album in context of his career and Magnetic Syndromes can be broken down into a system of trial and error. A level of truth Gypsy Mamba accumulated as he interacted with the people helping to bring his music to the masses and the support that has followed thereafter. Gypsy Mamba further explains, “When creating my debut full-length, I learned a lot about myself in a sense because as the tracks were being finished I was dealing with a lot of my own depression issues. I found that as I kept finishing tracks and developing the artwork for this album, a lot of the feelings I couldn’t control or regulate started regulating themselves. I definitely feel my current good mood is attributed to the completion of this album and the support of the Alpha Pup team. If I learned anything, it’s how important music and the community is to my personal well being. I also opened myself to more ambient tunes on the album which is something I haven't really done in the past. It’s a side of music creation I love, so I'll be incorporating more of that into further projects and will continue to evolve the direction of the Gypsy Mamba sound.” Following the release of Da Feenux last year, recordings for Magnetic Syndromes took place immediately at Gypsy Mamba’s home studio. Makan of Bür Gür and Kelley Mak add vocal treatment, giving the record an undeniable transformation that his music has never seen before. The LP showcases a more complex side to Gypsy Mamba’s usual approach, infusing Reason 8 and their built-in VST’s that’s a fresh take on the popular music technology. On a handful of the tracks, synth solo’s flare well outside of the base and find home in a more lyrical terrain, projecting the soul of Gypsy Mamba in a way that takes the music to new worlds. The tracks move in and out of bass heavy club anthems to thought provoking ambient pop pieces. The energy is constantly morphing, retracting and expanding, much like the process Gypsy took on purging many areas of his life to find true happiness. Gypsy Mamba has found a new home base of composition approach with Magnetic Syndromes. Mixing / mastering was completed by labelhead Daddy Kev in fall 2016 and it marks his second release with Alpha Pup Records.
Alpha Pup Records presents Mù Chè Shān Chū by Howie Lee: an innovative producer, master sound curator, and ambassador from the Chinese musical underground. Born in Beijing where he lives now, Lee has lived in London, recorded in Taipei, and is now releasing his debut album on a Los Angeles label – truly a global phenomenon. After being hit up by Snoop Lion for a remix in 2012, Lee’s “future music from Downtown Beijing” busted out of China to captivate crowds with its thoroughly unique style. His distinct approach blends local samples, traditional Chinese sounds, and inventive modern rhythms. Tracks are drenched thickly in bass and imbued with the fresh feel of youth – and often, are right at home on the dance floor. Gripping from the very beginning, intro track “The Gate” invites you into the artist’s underground world and sets the tone for an expansive, epic journey. Syncopated beats strut through “Cloud Lamps,” and “Sinka (feat. Zhang Yang)” steps right into a thundercloud. “Bei Hai” is a riveting experiment with an alluring rhythm, a warm wash of sounds that pulls in unexpected directions. Mù Chè Shān Chū is always in motion. Impossibly dense and lush, yet also incredibly spacious and vast – a juxtaposition that reflects China itself. From the plucked strings of the guhzeng to the butter-rich bass of the 808, Lee brings an unmistakable Far East flavor to the leading edge of modern electronic music.
Dense with rhymes and intriguing beats, Jonwayne is Retired is fresh with purpose – an updated glimpse into the sound of the LA beatmaker and MC. Each track is an interactive playground of deep-cutting production and Jonwayne’s magnetic rap style. "Beacon" merges grainy, distorted sounds with thoughtful clarity and sharp vocals. Riddled with hooks and fire, "Minerals & Gems" feels light yet submerged. ""Dirty Dan"" is a movement-inducing flip that sways, while "Green Light (feat. Anderson Paak)" lines up the planets ahead of everyone. "30,000" closes the EP with curious synths, a minimal beat showcase that reveals Jonwayne at his low-key best. Mixed by Daddy Kev on his new SSL console at Cosmic Zoo and released via Alpha Pup Records, Jonwayne is Retired is arguably the best sounding Jonwayne record to date. Zone out with the flow, or pay attention and get inspired. Choose your adventure. Jonwayne is Retired.
This fall, trumpeter and composer Josef Leimberg will launch his debut full-length Astral Progressions. Hitting vinyl prints and digital formats with the Alpha Pup Records jazz imprint World Galaxy, Astral Progressions is a powerful record in the canon of 21st century music. It also continues the momentum Leimberg achieved on the Kendrick Lamar Grammy Award-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly. A hybrid state of jazz fusion, world music, R&B and golden era hip hop instrumentalism. Josef Leimberg has created a rich tapestry of sound that fits right in with the resurgence of progressive music in the 2010’s, launching out on his own terms after an impressive career of guest work. Leimberg gained a unique level of traction with his work on the multiple Grammy Award-winning Kendrick Lamar LP To Pimp A Butterfly. Credited under the LoveDragon moniker with Terrace Martin, his time with To Pimp A Butterfly only represents a small fragment of his accomplishments. His collaborative resume over the decades is astounding, consisting of production, writing and feature credits with Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Robin Thicke, Shafiq Husayn, Funkadelic, Freestyle Fellowship, Dr. Dre, Murs, King Tee, Suga Free, Saafir and Busdriver. These connections have undoubtedly spread life all over Astral Progressions. Leimberg’s debut album features an array of innovators and game changers in modern progressive music. Kamasi Washington, Bilal, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Kurupt, Terrace Martin and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson are just a small list of the brilliant minds that make the Astral Progressions outing special. Many of the featured artists became with the LP through world renowned creator Shafiq Husayn. Leimberg would connect with various musicians associated to his camp through studio recordings, gigging and rehearsals, building on his compositions in a very organic and social way. Kurupt connects with Astral Progression’s cosmic message unlike anything else he’s done before, lending his verbal talents over a cosmic west coast flavor. Georgia Anne Muldrow and Bilal add considerable weight as well, taking direction into spiritually tinged fusions of R&B and soul. The ending track pays special homage to Leimberg’s mother, including a recording of her speaking about the complexities of life and where we all fit into the bigger picture of this universe. To describe this record in full would take volumes of thought, bridged under the vision of Leimberg in every note and measure. Leimberg takes the sonic power of Astral Progressions back to the origins of the ‘70s jazz fusion movement. Included is a superb Miles Davis cover of ‘Lonely Fire.’ Originally recorded and featured on the 1970s Miles Davis studio album Big Fun, Leimberg revamps the spiritually tinged piece with uptempo pocket driven drum work, flaring solo’s and a sense of heightened energy that transforms the chord arrangements of the original into something entirely new. Paul Livingston adds lush sitar, tambura and sarod, bringing the Indian influences shed on the original composition into the 21st century state of Leimberg’s vision. It’s a perfect summation of how organic, fluid and exotic the record is as a whole. The artwork and design packaging pulls back to the narrative of prolific album cover work that enhanced many of the world’s most celebrated jazz fusion albums. Artwork created by Tokio Aoyama, the vibrant color schemes intertwine into deeply interwoven symbols, coalescing to form a powerful story before a single note is even heard. Taking the influence his father, mother and communities of musicians around him, Astral Progressions is a record that summarizes the long lasting power of love through sound. Josef Leimberg is a part of the movement that’s creating new standards in the exploration of jazz and fusion. He is defining himself as a worthy composer and purveyor of the deep musical arts and Astral Progressions is just the beginning.
Limited to 300 copies. Alpha Pup Records announces the release of MAST’s second full length album Love and War_. Love and War_ is a highly conceptual and deeply personal new work based on jazz trained multi-instrumentalist MAST aka Tim Conley’s eventful love life over the last 2 years. Set up as a three Act Play structure (traditionally the Setup, the Confrontation and the Resolution) Love and War_ is 17 intense and unique compositions each flowing into the next with recurring musical themes or “characters.” Conley tells the story of (Act 1) finding love and the beauty and naivety that comes with exploring something new; (Act 2) losing that love due to her substance abuse, deception and Conley coping in unhealthy ways; (Act 3) learning to let go, heal and ultimately find a much deeper lasting love. The tone Conley sets is sometimes sarcastic, other times vulnerable and intimate, yet always musically intense and profoundly visual. Sonically, Love and War_ is mostly instrumental compositions consisting of rousing electronic elements perfectly intertwined with live guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. It’s performed and produced by Conley, along with some of the world’s leading Instrumentalists and vocalists. Keyboardist / producer Taylor McFerrin appears hot off the release of his latest on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Both LA transplants, Conley and McFerrin have been friends and musical acquaintances for over 10 years since their time in NYC and Philly during the early 2000s. Composing and creating Love and War_ was an efficacious way for Conley to heal and grow but he was very reluctant to share such a personal story so transparently. Through this vulnerability, he hopes that whatever anyone else’s Love and War_ story happens to be, to learn their own life lessons, find the humor in it and always trust in the most optimistic outcome.
MILES MOSLEY stepped into the light with magnetic force this year following the release of his new single ‘ABRAHAM’, garnishing critical acclaim from worldwide press such as NPR, The Guardian, BBC Radio, The FADER, and Bass Player Magazine. The Los Angeles-based upright bass virtuoso and composer has reached impressive professional heights in recent years, and his full length album has been eagerly anticipated. Now the moment audiences across the globe have been waiting for is finally here: Miles Mosley announces the release of his album UPRISING, scheduled to be released worldwide on digital and vinyl formats on January 27, 2017. Ahead of the album release in January, Miles Mosley is offering the second single in the powerful track “Young Lion.” As the opening floodgates to UPRISING, “Young Lion” bursts with energy from every seam. Scorching horn lines, slick keys and a propulsive rhythm section unlike any other in modern music, the end of the track is supplanted with a mind-bending effects laced bass solo from Miles that shows why he’s one of the most respected bassists alive. Scheduled to hit digital outlets September 16th, “Young Lion” is filled with gusto in lyric and music form. A perfect beginning to the story of UPRISING. It encapsulates the dynamic range of genres and expression that traces the rest of the album. UPRISING serves as his most personal and defining climb throughout his long-time career in the music industry. For Miles, it combines a deep love of songwriting with an innovative, truly one-of-a-kind ability on the Upright Bass. A balance he has worked decades to execute with precision, quality and taste. UPRISING will release on the Alpha Pup Records sub-imprint World Galaxy, and features the collective Miles co-founded, the West Coast Get Down, a family of musicians he helped bring together during their formative years. The group have imprinted their stamp on the world unlike any other musical collective in recent times. Long-time manager and music collaborator Barbara Sealy, who has worked with the collective since they were in high school, co-produced the album with Tony Austin, shaping the content through the infamous KSL Sessions that produced over 150 finished compositions including those found on Kamasi Washington's "The Epic." As Miles describes, “I was the organizer, Tony Austin was the technical guru, Kamasi Washington was the wrangler, Ryan Porter was the heart, and our long-time manager Barbara Sealy was the safety net that made sure we were able to be in a safe, creative space. I began my record at Tony's studio and transitioned to KSL to do Strings and Choir, yet once we were all in the groove more songs started crossing the finish line.” Miles and company blend into a unified system of brilliant luminance through UPRISING. Kamasi Washington, Ryan Porter, Zane Musa, Dontae Winslow and the other L.A. horn players shout from the mountain tops; Brandon Coleman brings unrelenting funk on vintage keys; Cameron Graves displays his ethereal piano virtuosity, and Tony Austin holds it down with equal measure on drums and the production/engineering chair. UPRISING is Miles’ personalized take on the musical journey of his life, and that of his West Coast Get Down family. It stands as an impressive record of deep conviction and technical prowess, following the influences he has gained from legends such as Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix. Every lyric, rhythm, melody and harmony from UPRISING comes from the deepest reserves of Miles’ soul and the experiences he has endured over the last two decades in the music industry: “I wanted to create a work that was natural and intimate, but still maintained a sense of grandeur.” Miles explains. “As if you were best friends with a giant. The West Coast Get Down, the Strings, the Choir; I sought to utilize all of these elements together to create something with memorable melodies and a message to the people that we are here for them. We are and want to be the loudspeaker for their hearts.” The album demonstrates Miles’ vision and scope, traversing through stunning vocal cadences and complex music arrangements with scorching horn lines, innovative bass solos, thought-provoking lyricism and an overall dynamic that bleeds with the lineage of the West Coast Get Down. It showcases tracks reminiscent of the best that pop, jazz, blues, funk and soul have to offer. As a connecting factor from the beginning to the end, UPRISING walks the listener through the trials, tribulations and successes that Miles has experienced in the music industry, in a way that holds a mirror to the broader human experience of living in the modern age. It culminates in the triumphs that he and the West Coast Get Down gained in that process, honing their craft to perfection while uplifting a generation. Every song becomes a piece to the whole, highlighting Miles’ strengths as a composer, musician and lyrical seeker of truth. The power of the West Coast Get Down’s voice has manifested in numerous ways, and Miles Mosley continues that journey for audiences in an entirely new way with UPRISING, the sound of this generation: “I have always loved the power of words, and what they make us feel. The word "UPRISING" is often used in moments in which a group of people witness their strength in numbers and band together to seize an opportunity. Not only are we living in a time where people all over the world in art and politics are recognizing their own power in numbers, but as a member of the West Coast Get Down it seems fitting that this new attention to our sound, and the impact we are capable of making across genres feels like our own UPRISING. This is my piece of our story.” - Miles Mosley
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"With the clarity of a lucid dream, Milo’s new album So the Flies Don’t Come combines sharp spoken words and riveting beats into an irrefutable work of art. His music is expansively original, like a science experiment whose constants are poetry and philosophy. So the Flies Don’t Come features a crisp cast of guest artists: Myka 9, Elucid, Open Mike Eagle, and Hemlock Ernst a.k.a. Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands all bring their distinctive talents to the sonic table. Interesting breaks create a refreshing cadence in “Souvenir (feat. Hemlock Ernst),” a stroll through the park that playfully pauses in thought. Let your soul fly with “Zen Scientist (feat. Myka 9),” and tilt into the bright light as “Yomilo” wrenches down the beat. A breathless finale to the album, “Song About a Raygunn (An Ode to Driver)” sends off the listener with an undeniable burst of energy. Chill but aware, clever yet inviting – So the Flies Don’t Come is a skillful showcase for Milo’s articulate wit, expressive warmth, and gifted production.
Mystery Cave’s first full-length album debut on Psychic Fortitude, a newly minted in-house Alpha Pup Records imprint, and serves as the thesis of an already rich sonic palette John C. Harris II has refined through years of music production and promotion in the San Diego music community. As the proper primer to the Mystery Cave universe, the disjointed unraveling of tracks like “Ohm Loop II” and the oddly reflective “Chicken & Waffles” occasionally gives way to moodier, more introspective fare such as mid-album highlight “Smriti”. Across the wholly instrumental album, the selection of sonics mystically allude to the album’s namesake, a centuries-old calendar cycle that has its roots in Ancient Egypt. “If some electronic music sounds mechanistic by nature, Mystery Cave is among those who are moving in the opposite direction, using technology as best they can to get closer to natural and supernatural realms, and to better understand their own minds.” - Peter Holslin, passionweiss.com Welcome to the Ausarian Age.
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Prodigal Son represents a return to form for Los Angeles based producer Nobody, also known as (DJ) Nobody when he's behind the decks and Elvin Estela when he's at home. Making his name in the late 90's with sample-based instrumental beats heavy on moodiness and influenced by jazz, he quickly expanded his sound with experiments in psychedelia, bass heavy beat music and modern hip-hop. Following up 2013's Vivid Green, Nobody goes back to his roots and pillages unknown vinyl gems and re-assembles them into new forms for Prodigal Son. Four downtempo instrumentals rub shoulders with a pair of vocal tracks, featuring two the brightest in the LA hip-hop underground. Sahtyre expands on the idea that "Ain't Nothing Good Happen After Midnight" while Open Mike Eagle sums up the theme of the album with the closer "Feel At Home". The feel and atmosphere of Prodigal Son is not very far from his 2000 debut Soulmates, which is a source of inspiration for this EP. Always a fan favorite, Nobody hopes to give his supporters the tracks that they've wanted all these years, while making new ones with a classic and timeless sound.
Low End Theory resident & veteran Los Angeles DJ Nobody creates the crucially timed full-length Vivid Green via Alpha Pup Records. Embracing the flux within LA underground musical movements of the last fifteen years, Elvin Estela has been on the studio grind while touring internationally refining chops in bass heavy beats, electronic bangers and psychedelic rock. Since debuting with one of Los Angeles' first instrumental hip-hop full lengths with 2000's Soulmates, Estela has gone on to remain relevant within the shape-shifting scenes of LA's multicultural artistic climate. Nobody utilizes the same signature mood, melody, and diversity that identified him in 2000, but with an unmistakable modern upgrade - no doubt influenced by Low End Theory, the club he co-founded in 2006. Vivid Green is expanding on the repertoire that has kept Nobody standing as a strong symbol for open ears. Vivid Green is strongly instrumental, but boasts the vocal collaborations of The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala, electronic songwriter Baths, laid-back SoCal rapper Nocando, freak-soul Kendrick Lamar collaborator Anna Wise (Sonnymoon), and Teri Gender Bender of Les Butcherettes/Bosnian Rainbows.
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Reissue of Nosaj Thing's seminal, long out-of-print instrumental hip-hop classic Drift. Already receiving Artist-to-Watch accolades from XLR8R and the BBC, remixing Daedelus and Flying Lotus, and winning L.A.’s prestigious Project Blowed beat battle, L.A.’s Nosaj Thing authors the unrelenting next chapter in producer-based records that continue to up the ante. His electronic soundscapes and wild beat tectonics hit the mind and soul as they juxtapose thick, dripping electronics with sultry hip hop undertones and thought provoking ambient space.
Pyramid Vritra presents the next generation of hip hop with Dãnu (NRK / The Order Label, via Alpha Pup Records). Former half of Odd Future duo The Jet Age of Tomorrow and a member of the up-and-coming NRK collective, the rapper and producer is an inventive storyteller whose sound ignites the brain. Like the artist’s namesake god, the album manifests itself into many incarnations. Lyrics are effortlessly fluid and tracks change directions quickly, flipping from one personality to another without pause. Title track “Dãnu” edges the album open, slowly warming from its leisurely beginning and sidling into a stone-skipping jam. “58 (Heavy)” evolves with exquisite musical form, riveted by an unexpected cadence that dips just low enough to scoop up the wayward contemplation. Starting with a simple combination of clean rap and smooth beats, “Leather” plunges into polychromatic sound. Bursts of sunlight beam through as the track sways and mutates. “Parcel” is the work of a hypnotist – a beyond-heady brew filled with the thickest smoke; an exotic den of serpentine arms that beckons you come hither. Sample-free and crafted with cohesive design, Dãnu is an experiment created with the free-floating forms of the mind.
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Plain Speaking is the lucid new release by Scallops Hotel, the candid alter ego of Chicago poet and producer Milo. A robust introduction for his new label imprint Ruby Yacht, the album blends experimental production and endearing beats with open, honest rhymes. Plain Speaking is profound yet accessible, a solid handhold to grasp onto amidst the chaos of the modern world. Easy yet serious, lighthearted and sincere, Plain Speaking immediately draws the listener inward. The album's first single ""Lavender Chunk” -- featuring Hemlock Ernst a.k.a. Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands -- leans back into a simpler time, remembered like a hazy dream. Slanting darker and submerged inside echoes, “Tense Present” flips from contemplative flow into a stream of comforting clarity. “True Nen” is a thoughtful track that breathes deeply, an offering of assurance over discord. Plain Speaking is a remedy, the cure for the common conversation. The familial tones and straightforward flow of Scallops Hotel function like an outstretched hand. Plain Speaking never pushes; rather it invites you to sit and listen. To have hope, and to heal through art.
First edition pressing of the sophomore Sister Crayon album via Alpha Pup Records, co-produced by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Wes Jones.Devoted is very much an album formed through loss. It is a juxtaposition of mourning that loss, challenging the loss of love, and understanding that love was never yours to begin with. It jumps from being cynical towards love to being wholly reflective and contemplative. Despite the melancholy nature of the subject, this album rarely touches sadness. Oakland duo Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez have been performing as Sister Crayon, trying to qualify relationships, friendships, tour life and home life. In the spring of 2014, in a studio in Florida with co-producers Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Wes Jones, all of the questions and drama turned itself over through the creation of Devoted. More than anything else, Devoted is concentrated anger and frustration. The heavy beats and forward, aggressive nature in which the vocals are presented in every song set a much more revealing tone than heard in previous work. Vocals often border a juxtaposition between the female, male, and the “other” - and the album features three tracks co-written by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez: “Into Solemn Hymns,” “Night Totem,” and “Providence.” In Devoted, the artists have taken a fully primal approach that focuses heavily on the electronic elements and voice. Lopez and Fernandez clung to these songs when there was nothing left. Devoted was written in order to restore faith in the act of devotion
2 Years after the release of their critically acclaimed album Death Drive, Sole & DJ Pain 1 announce the follow-up album, “Nihilismo.” This album embodies the overlap of their music with the world of activism and journalism. Nihilismo is a revolutionary hip-hop album that challenges the nihilism of modern life, of late stage capitalism and of a world that seems to have no future. It is a DIY testament to how both artists have plotted a way out of that despair through DIY ethics and a life of making working class, yet revolutionary music. To be released on collaboration with Fake Four Inc. & Alpha Pup. The winning collaboration between indy rap iconoclast and platinum producer DJ Pain 1 has resulted in truly original music that has been heralded by industry standard bearers like 2DopeBoyz and Spin, as well as popular radical media platforms such as Russia Today and Truthout. Featuring contributions from punk rock icon Chris Hanna of Propagandhi, anarchist author Scott Crow, Decomposure, Fake Four label head Ceschi, Jah Boogie, Church Fire and The Delta Mirror, "Nihilismo" pushes the boundaries of the genre. The album also includes the title track for the upcoming documentary on Drone whistleblowers, "National Bird," which recently premiered at the Berlin Film Festival to rave reviews.
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Limited edition of 300 units worldwide. Includes lyric sheet. "Jazz is supposedly a grown folks’ genre, played by aging bohemians in tiny clubs. Tell that to the Breathing Effect—a self-described electronic group influenced by soul, rock and jazz—whose debut album, Mars Is a Very Bad Place for Love, toes a line between traditional and turn up. As a unit, producer/keyboardist Eli Goss and drummer/bassist Harry Terrell merge the standards of conventional jazz with modern bounce beats. By definition, it scans as "jazz fusion," but the results conjure '70s R&B as well as the contemporary Los Angeles beat scene and hip-hop. Clearly, Goss and Terrell study Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine, but it seems they dig Thundercat and Stevie Wonder, too. The genesis of the Breathing Effect can be traced to its fascinating 2014 EP, on which Goss and Terrell spread aquatic rhythms over five tracks. From "Layers of Thought" to "Losing My Mind", the resulting mixture was equally soothing and mesmerizing; the EP as a whole worked just as well under clear or gray skies. Mars is more upbeat than its predecessor, though the opening tunes—"Forestial Things" and "Cloudy Afternoon"—continue the EP’s mellow ambience. Yet by the third song, the two-tiered "Cold Meteor Showers", Goss and Terrell hit a stride. In a way, Mars plays like musical theater: It’s driven by space travel, and follows the story of two lovers cruising the galaxy with no concept of time. Tracks like "One for the Mountains By the Sea" and "Twenty Years Altogether" recall spacious isolation, of couples escaping life’s hustle to be alone with each other. It’s a notion evoked on album standout, "Weightless Reality", where Goss, Terrell and guest vocalist Kalia Vandever sing of a fantasy world of waterfalls and underwater utopia. Whether or not they’re depicting planet Mars is anyone’s guess. Still, the music conveys a very real narrative while using few words, which is usually a tough task for most instrumental albums. The vocals, sparing as they are, come from Goss, Terrell, Vandever and Michael Mayo, who tend to float along the periphery of the music, underlining the instrumentals. On "Streetlights Out of Focus", Mayo drifts softly, his wails a breezy compliment to Goss and Terrell’s composition. And of all the great things happening here—the Isley Brothers vibe on "Fireflies", the dense layers of "Visions"—you can actually feel the melodies, which remain at the forefront even though the music drifts in all directions. The blend seeps into the background if you let it, but dominates your attention in headphones, played loudly. "Rising Inside"—the LP’s best song and one of the group’s finest to date—uses swift percussion, bright synths and a Vocoder, working up a loud bounce that would fit comfortably within rap circles and jazz crowds, two sects that couldn’t be farther apart these days. It’s a grand culmination for the Breathing Effect: experimental jazz with the potential for huge resonance." -Marcus J Moore, pitchfork.com
Los Angeles hip hop group The Kleenrz (Self Jupiter of Freestyle Fellowship and Kenny Segal of TeamSupreme) are back with their sophomore release Season Two. The Kleenrzs have put together another record that falls in the dark film noir setting of their debut, constructed with an uncompromising lens over Los Angeles culture. The Kleenrz will release Season Two on vinyl and digital formats June 10th with The Order Label and there’s a lot in store. Season Two picks up right where their debut ended, splashing fresh paint on the canvas and heating things up through raw lyricism and organic production. 12 new episodes full of blood, mystery, and mayhem, served with the freshest of hip hop styles you can find from this era. Described by The Kleenrz themselves, “Season Two is left coast, Southern, dark, messy, beautiful, inventive, cool, fun and frothy. However, as always with our music, there’s always nuggets of truths wrapped in with horror that reflects what we see and hear everyday.” The lyrical storylines on Season Two were solely written under the guise of Self Jupiter. Kenny Segal lays down creatively disturbing sample interludes, dynamic multi-instrumentalism and head nodding snare and kick drum. It’s all formulated under a lush scheme of cohesion between the two that touches every corner of hip hop and builds on the creative luminance of their first venture. Features on Season Two bring together many roots of LA music culture, including Busdriver, Myka 9, Penthouse Penthouse, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, D-Styles, Sach, Abstract Rude, AWOL One, Grouch, and Eligh. Everyone featured brought their uniqueness to the LP, adding to The Kleenrz legacy in the most proper of ways. Season Two is absolute heat from Self Jupiter and Kenny Segal, imaginatively weaving some of the darkest corridors of society together and giving it a new world to thrive in.
Saturated with a dark romanticism and a deep sense of melancholy, Sightless, Unless is the encompassing new release by Los Angeles producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Toy Light. The artist’s vaporous falsetto free-floats over an impetuous low end throughout the album, shimmering pale with passion as a moody guitar searches for solace. Newborn tracks evolve from elegant simplicity into complex emotional beings, molten mutations of discord and experimentation. “Birth Archive” soothes as it stimulates, luring the listener into the dissonance with unbridled design. “Entwined” is apprehensive yet approachable, and unspeakable anguish inhabits “Hiss of the Womb.” Impossibly light and intensely moving, “Aporia” slips through viscous echoes into a spellbound state. “At Dusk / New Sun” faces you like fate, pensive and shadowed, decaying in order to transform. Lacerated with emotion, Sightless, Unless goes far beyond words to touch the truths of humanity whose unending glare we try desperately to avoid. It is an expression of exquisite existential pain and disturbing beauty, created by an artist whose intricate talent has marked a new space in the post-genre sphere.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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