A-Trak established his reputation as a producer by delivering some of the most ubiquitous remixes of the last ten years. The Grammy nominated DJ hero and renowned tastemaker has built a legacy that traverses eras and scenes, with a discography that is adored by all. This body of work is commemorated for the first time with In The Loop. The 12-track compilation (out in December on Fool’s Gold) effectively traces a recent history of EDM from the point of view of one of its biggest stars, collecting A-Trak’s most notable remixes — from blog favorites to festival smashes — and contextualizing them with anecdotes from their creator. In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes will be available on all digital services and CD, as well a beautiful limited edition vinyl box set; the latter features six 7” colored vinyl singles in custom sleeves, accompanied by a 32 page booklet with A-Trak’s behind-the-scenes stories on each remix. Read his introduction below: I learned how to produce by doing remixes. It was my testing ground. In 2006 I had been DJing for over 10 years and my brother Dave was a seasoned musician, but I was still a novice in the studio. Making a full original song can be daunting, so here I was able to hand-pick my favorite vocals, steal a few kickdrums and chop up some cool synths. My remixes also allowed me to get my music heard. I didn’t have to finish a full project. They gave me an à la carte formula, landing on various labels. The great thing about remixes is they create an ecosystem.It’s almost like a shared economy. They forge bonds between artists: a remix request is the equivalent of giving your peer a pound and saying “you’re dope, give me some of that sauce.” They connect bands to DJs, producers among themselves, and all of them to new fans. For me this all started as electronic music blogs were spreading. We rarely went through managers. You would track down someone’s email and hit them up, cold. We helped each other finish tracks. I often delivered mine very, very late. But even to this day as I work on more original music, my sound is the result of these experiments.
Vinyl coming 2017! Donald Glover has detailed his third record as Childish Gambino. Awaken, My Love! will be out December 2 via Glassnote.
With an illustrious career spanning three decades, producer Pete Rock can freely decide who he wants to work with. Having already produced for the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nas, Common, Cypress Hill, Method Man, Redman and Jim Jones, just to name a few, Pete Rock has undoubtedly solidified himself as a contender for 'the greatest producer of all time'. When Harlem's rising star Smoke DZA landed on Pete's radar, he knew DZA had something special that could not be iognored. Smoke DZA had already garnered the attention of artists like Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Curren$y and Big K.R.I.T., all of whom he's collaborated with. After touring the country together on this year's Smokers Club Tour, Pete Rock and Smoke DZA are finally ready to reveal their collaborative album, Don't Smoke Rock, to the world. Don't Smoke Rock is a euphoric voyage that features Pete Rock on production with Smoke DZA commanding the microphone. The album features guest appearances from rap's elite including Mac Miller, Rick Ross, The LOX, Wale, Big K.R.I.T., Cam'ron, Tha Dogg Pound, Dom Kennedy and Dave East. Based on the undeniable synergy of Pete Rock and Smoke DZA, Don't Smoke Rock is sure to be a hit.
The borders between London's musical tribes have always been porous. For Yussef Kamaal, the sound of the capital with its hum of jungle, grime and broken beat has shaped a self-taught, UK-tipped approach to playing jazz. In the states, the genre's long-running to-and-fro with hip hop from Robert Glasper to Kamasi Washington has reimagined it within US culture. On Black Focus, Yussef Kamaal frame jazz inside the bass-saturated, pirate radio broadcasts of London. Taking inspiration from the anything-goes spirit of '70s jazz-funk, on albums by Herbie Hancock or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it's a loose template with plenty of room to experiment. The pair, made up of Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu), have had little in the way of formal training. Instead, their musical tastes and approach to playing are indebted to Thelonious Monk's piano as much as the drum programming of Kaidi Tatham. "It's all about the drums and the keys," Williams says. "Not to take anything from anyone else, but that's where it all originates from: the chords, the rhythm of the chords and the drums." Born out of a one-off live session to perform Williams' solo material for Boiler Room, it soon became a project in its own right. Coming together as Yussef Kamaal, they played a series of live shows where little more than a chord progression would be planned before taking to the stage. Bringing that unspoken understanding to the recording sessions (engineered by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics), the unplanned, telepathically spawned grooves retain the raw energy of their live shows. "It's not so much about complete arrangement, it's more about flow," Dayes says. "A lot of the tracks are just made spontaneously Henry will be playing two chords, I'll fill in the groove and we'll just leave the arrangement naturally." Both hail from South East London, crossing paths in 2007 as teenagers playing their first pub gigs around Peckham and Camberwell. Dayes drums for cosmically-inclined, afrobeat outfit United Vibrations, while Williams on top of drumming and playing keys in different incarnations over the years has made waves with his solo, synth-draped house 12"s for much-fted labels like 22a and Rhythm Section.
A Tribe Called Quest‘s final album and first in 18 years: We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.
Sean Price tragically passed away in August, 2015 at the age of 43. Sean was a popular rapper, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. He was celebrated for his work as ½ of the group, Heltah Skeltah, and 1/8 of the supergroup, Boot Camp Clik. However, his solo albums were what truly set him apart. To highlight this work, Duck Down Music has created a truly unique vinyl box set featuring Sean Prices' Monkey Barz, Jesus Price Supastar and Mic Tyson albums. The limited-edition box set has a hologram cover depicting Sean Price in the jungle, battling a gang of angry gorillas. The scene is reminiscent of the art portrayed from his previous titles. The box set will be available on Black Friday, November 25th, 2016!
General Steele of Smif-N-Wessun/Boot Camp Clik and Burlington, Vermont-based producer Es-K present their collaboration album Building Bridges. Produced mostly by Es-K, the album features guest appearances from Buckshot of Black Moon, Smoothe Da Hustler, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Rockness Monsta of Heltah Skeltah, and a posthumous cameo from his late great partner, Sean Price. As one half of Smif-N-Wessun, General Steele crashed the hip-hop scene in the 1990s with their debut album Dah Shinin’ (named a Top 100 Album Of All Time by The Source and a Top 50 Debut Album Of All Time by Complex). Their last release - 2011’s Monumental - was produced by Pete Rock, and Steele has also collaborated with Tupac Shakur, Mary J Blige, 50 Cent, Raekwon and Bounty Killer. Es-K may be best known for his 2014 album Serenity (listen) as well as his Spontaneous Grooves beat tape series, where every beat on each tape was made in one sitting each. A low-key display of introspective verses, classic cuts and jazz-inflected beats, Building Bridges stays true to its name by bridging the gap between established artists and rising ones alike such as VVS Verbal, Shadow The Great of Loaf Muzik, Napoleon Da Legend, Mar’rz Atomz, Stage One, Louie Skaggs, Boone Bixby, Supreme The Eloheem (from the Representativz) and Coke as well as production from Hellfire Beats and Central Parks. DMC champion DJ Grazzhoppa contributes cuts alongside Hashfinger and Hellfire. The cover art comes courtesy of Joe Buck, the artist behind the De La Soul Is Dead cover art. Building Bridges will be released via Bucktown USA, the multimedia company General Steele created in 2004 alongside partner Cynical Smith, with digital distribution through Duck Down, including a limited-edition pressing of 500 records. #BuildingBridges
Limited Pressing On Translucent Red Vinyl! There are a few terms that get thrown around loosely, two of which are legend and retro-soul. One of these fits Lee Fields hand and glove, one of these doesn’t fit at all. Very few people in music have both earned the status of legendary and continue to solidify it. 50 years in the game and only getting better, gaining more fans, and evolving his sound on each album, Lee is in fact a Living Legend. This brings us to the misuse of the term ""retro-soul"" when talking about Mr. Fields. You don’t have to look far to find a younger generation emulating the essence and styles of an era the’ve only experienced through music and movies. It seems unfair to tag Lee with a term that implies imitation when he is part of the generation that actually defined the genre. Plain and simple, this is not that. ""Special Night"" is a masterclass in soul music past and present. “I feel that every human being’s purpose is to do what their inner voice says to do,” says Lee Fields. “And my inner voice, my driving force, wants me to put out music and keeping making better records.” Produced by Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck, and brilliantly performed by the Expressions, Special Night was written, recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely to tape in three weeks at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios in Queens, NY. A sense of urgency, equal parts fun and inspiration, and a decent amount of beer and Jack Daniels were the driving forces during the sessions that produced Lee Fields & The Expressions latest offering. Special Night is also the first record in the Expressions catalogue in which every song was written jointly by Lee Fields and The Expressions. “When I record, I make every song like I actually mean it. I mean every word I say. On Special Night I’m talking to my lady — literally, expressing the way I feel.” says Lee Fields. “You can tell if a song is real or not, and every moment I’m recording, those moments are real, this is a record about what people do in real life”. For one example, he cites the song “Work to Do,” which tells the story of “a guy going to counseling, drinking too much, apologizing to the old lady and trying to keep family together, doing the manly thing.” On “Make This World”, Lee makes a nod back to his early funk roots with a cautionary tale about the health of the planet. The world was designed to last indefinitely,” says Fields. “We’re the only living species on Earth who can alter that process. I’m hoping that song has a chain reaction, helps somebody put into action whatever contribution they can to change what the world is going through.” As always, sticking to the formula but pushing the boundaries “Never Be Another You” from the first note doesn’t sound like something you would hear on a Lee record, that is until he starts singing anyhow. A low tempo ballad with a head nodding drum track, sparse piano lines, and all the space Lee needs to lay down what is sure to be one of the flyest love songs of 2017. Whether tackling a tune about love lost, found, or broader topics like the state of humanity, Lee has a very unique and honest perspective that is on display with each unforgettable performance. Also, The Expressions have never been sharper, they, along with Lee, have created a collection of music on Special Night which holds court with pretty much any soul music that came before it.
Underneath his mysterious metal mask, MF DOOM hides the cachet underground legends are made of. After KMD (his first group)’s 1994 sophomore album Bl_ck B_st_rds was shelved by Elektra in 1994 and his blood brother Subroc (one half of the sibling rap duo) passed away, surviving frontman Zev Love X mutated into the MC Avenger known as MF DOOM and the Rap world is better for it. This 19-cut deep album is ridiculously dope, in a bizarro Ol’ Dirty Bastard kind of way. Doom sounds either high or drunk on most of the tracks, his self-produced beats are gritty, and his rhyme styles are almost indecipherable. On arguably the best track, “Rhymes Like Dimes,” Doom weaves some pointed lyrics through his abstract wordplay, spitting ‘only in America could you find a way to earn a healthy buck / And still keep your attitude on self-destruct.’ Who You Think I Am? features DOOM‘s crew M.onster I.sland C.zars, while on “?” he trades hot verses with former Columbia artist Kurious Jorge. Doom’s avant-garde ghetto-rhyme philosophies take even more intentionally weird twists on “Tick, Tick...” where he and guest MC MF Grimm’s flows warble over a rhythm track whose tempo speeds up and slows down continually. The comic-book themed skits, will help take you deep into the mind of an MC who is as otherworldly as they come. And in today’s bland commercial Rap universe, Operation: Doomsday’s left-of-center beats and rhymes are the perfect remedy.
In 2008, Termanology began making a real name for himself, he had several highly-acclaimed singles in rotation and when DJ Premier laced him with one of his signature, scratch-laden beats on "Watch How It Go Down," the hood conscious anthem became an underground classic; and with it Termanology thrust himself onto hip-hop's international radar. Soon after, Term released his solo-debut, ‘Politics As Usual’, a project that included a Mount Rushmore like array of producers; DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Havoc, Alchemist, Hi-Tek, Buckwild, Easy Mo Bee & Nottz. ‘Politics As Usual’ was one of those rare projects which managed to merge the best of both worlds for Hip-Hop fans; meshing classic boom-bap production from a virtual who's who list of production royalty with Term’s lyricism, swagger and bravado. A lot has changed since Termanology released his debut, but in hip-hop, just as in life, everything comes full-circle. He’s back with ‘More Politics’, which, similar to his debut, brings together the elite of the elite in beatsmiths, as Just Blaze (Jay-Z, Beyonce, Eminem etc), Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), Buckwild (DITC), Hi-Tek, Nottz, Dame Grease (Nas, Fat Joe, DMX, Kelis, MGK, LL Cool J, T.I. etc), and the Grammy Award winning J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (Rick Ross, Mary J Blige, Wale, Drake, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Tech N9ne, Chance the Rapper, 2 Chainz etc), plus his brother from another mother Statik Selektah, all contribute production. Not only does the production mark Term’s current focus on creating top-tier songs, but he also enlisted the best-of-the-best to bless the mic on ‘More Politics’, including Joey Bada$$ (Pro Era), KXNG Crooked (Slaughterhouse), Bun B (UGK), Sheek Louch & Styles P (The Lox), Saigon, Westside Gunn, Ea$y Money, Conway, Chris Rivers, Your Old Droog and others. With politics as unpredictable as ever, real rap fans can be reassured that Termanology will hold them down this Election Season with ‘More Politics’, due 11/18/16
Parekh & Singh are a pop duo from Kolkata, India. Nischay Parekh sings, plays guitar, keyboards and synths. Jivraj Singh plays drums, drum machines and effects. While their name might recall a small firm of accountants - by day Jivraj keeps books at the family hotel and Nischay keeps accounts for his father’s business - these office dreamers have conjured nine glowing tracks of cosmic pop that shimmer like an Indian sunset. The infectious and melodic opener I Love You Baby charts the agony and the ecstasy of uncertain young love and Me and You offers a carefree paean to youthful innocence rarely heard in these times. The swelling production of title track Ocean ebbs and flows between staying put or setting sail for open seas. Panda’s “forests of the night time” rekindles a childhood imagination fired by the poetry of William Blake. Animals populate their imaginations - they often think of themselves as street dogs - and the paintings of Yashasvi Mathis that grace the cover. The sun casts dark shadows. While undeniably sun-kissed, a darkness lurks within that reflects the contradictory nature of this somewhat eccentric duo. Innocence is tempered by experience. The pill-popping oddity of Hill plays like a ‘B’ movie trailer. With the latter stealing a line from Annie Hall, a shared love of Woody Allen, David Lynch and Wes Anderson comes as no surprise. With Ghost's loping drum and piano rhythms we wallow in delicious melancholy. Newbury Street sees the student Nischay struggle with homesickness under New England skies. As the words of Philosophize suggest - “a New York state of mind in Indian Standard Time” - while both have travelled they are always drawn inexorably back to the city they love, ‘the city that never wakes’, where our two dreamers can be found wandering Kolkata’s uncharted alleys in search of the urban pools (‘pukur‘) that dot through the perilously polluted metropolis like portals to peace and tranquility. Parekh & Singh’s easy way with each other and the dreamy languor that pervades their music belies the dedication of two talented musicians, both immersed in music from an early age. While many influences can be detected across its nine tracks - the cracked beauty of Secrets is dusted with a distinctly Americana feel for instance - Ocean is the fresh new sound of India. A timeless pop masterpiece in the making.
Fulgeance's new album "homecooking" is back on Cascade Records after releasing his latest Ep The Phoenix at ED BANGER. homecooking is a singular concept-album of 33 original tracks build up as a personal tape. With it, Fulgeance is stating a raw and fundamental musical vision, closer to the "machines" and going sideways of the current digital perfection. homecooking is a trip at the core of one of the French beatmaking pioneers' universe, in which you dive into his multiple inspiration – from careful sampling to analog synths.
’Tis the season for beats, every season! But when it’s also that special holiday season those tough hip hop beats are ready to mixed with some eggnog, and icicle light show, a sprinkling of sleigh bells, and DJ St. Nick on the one and twos. Thus Cold Busted offers to all good little girls and boys A Very Busted Christmas, a special holiday album featuring a number of festive revelers from the label’s roster. Put on your most obnoxious Christmas sweater and a big red pair of headphones and have a listen: highlights include America Gazaway’s wistful “Beanie Weather” – filled with swirling strings and voices floating in from Xmas past – and Bahia Deluxe’s organ-embellished jazzy take on “Let It Snow”. Bobby C Sound TV conjures images of top times on the icy playground with “Skating”, while DJ Buzzword adds that uplifting, funky flair to “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that you never knew it needed. And there’s so much more to discover and add to your sleigh ride playlist! A Very Busted Christmas puts the cool back in the yule … these aren’t your grandad’s chimney jams.
Following the release of his limited-edition "Boomerang" EP and his cassette-only album "Special Request," Diamond Ortiz brings you his first full-length LP, "Loveline." His heavy, bounce-laden style carries the album from start to finish, cementing him as California's heir apparent to the gutter synth funk sound which originated from Ohio and found an adopted home out west, where it fit perfectly with the cultures of lowriding and popping/locking. Diamond Ortiz proves on "Loveline," as he has with all of his past efforts, that the sound he is a proponent of is not simply "retro" or "old school" - it has a place in the modern day pantheon of electronic music.
Cypress Hill teamed up with Get On Down to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1991 debut with an ultra deluxe "25th Anniversary Skull" reissue. The entire set is housed in a unique, hard resin black skull - a faithful, 3-D physical recreation of the group's 1991 logo. A CD with remastered audio and a 100-plus page hardcover book are also included. The book features extensive liner notes by journalist Chris Faraone with input from B-Real, Sen Dog and DJ Muggs, and also includes full album lyrics and rarely seen photos provided by the group, as well as press clippings from 1991. Cypress Hill’s self-titled debut album was hard as nails, with very few pop concessions. There was humor, but it was laced by cackling, homicidal sneering. Not well known outside of the hardcore hip-hop scene at first, faces of the three group members weren’t usually shown clearly in press photos; they preferred the shadows. As their first singles began hitting the airwaves and record racks, the press and music fans started to take notice. From the opening notes of the group’s first single, “The Phuncky Feel One,” to deeper album cuts like “Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk” and “Tres Equis,” it was clear that Cypress Hill was something different. And very, very dope. The world Cypress Hill espoused was gang-ridden and far from cheery, but they managed to laugh through the pain. Lead rapper B-Real took each fuzzed-out, rock-hard DJ Muggs beat as a challenge, jumping around it like a spark off a joint as it makes its way to the concrete. MC Sen Dog always had B-Real’s back, to bring intensity and a no-bullshit gruffness that made the group both menacing and unpredictable. When they introduced percussionist Eric Bobo to the mix in the early 90s, it brought new dimension to the band, making their live performances one of the most unique and accomplished shows in hip-hop. Journalist and author Chris Faraone highlights the group’s relationship in the reissue’s liner notes (which is included only in limited edition Skull) saying, “[By the late ‘80s] the undisputed Cypress unit finally formed. B and Sen realized that their diametric styles - the latter’s deep wrangle, the former’s inimitable high notes - complemented one another righteously. By then Muggs had bangers in the bag, as well as industry experience from a jaunt with the New York duo 7A3. B and Sen waited while Muggs messed with 7A3, and in that time began to build the blueprint for their raucous and weeded no-holds-barred style. Besides getting schooled on industry pitfalls, Muggs had also grown into hip-hop’s most formidable young producer, while straddling the bi-coastal gap.” Cypress Hill’s debut went gold by the end of 1991 and has since pushed past double platinum status, making it the first album for a Latino-American hip hop group to do so. The album received raves from the likes of Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, saw a #1 Hot Rap Single with the release of “The Phuncky One” and helped the band win Artist Of The Year at the 1992 Source Awards. After 25 years, it should come as no surprise that Cypress Hill is a cornerstone of the group’s live set to this day.
MF DOOM is the man in the iron mask. The most mysterious figure in hip-hop has also become one of the most popular, supplying beats and rhymes for Gorillaz, De La Soul, Madlib, Danger Mouse, and Wu-Tang Clan, and drawing praise from heavyweights like Just Blaze, Nas, and Mos Def. Since 2002, DOOM has released numerous volumes of Special Herbs, one of the longest-running instrumental series in hip- hop history. Now, the ninth and tenth volumes in the acclaimed series are available on vinyl for the first time in years. With obscure loops and dusty samples galore, Special Herbs Vol. 9 & 0 is a must-have for any DOOM fan or hip-hop head.
MF DOOM is the man in the iron mask. The most mysterious figure in hip-hop has also become one of the most popular, supplying beats and rhymes for Gorillaz, De La Soul, Madlib, Danger Mouse, and Wu-Tang Clan, and drawing praise from heavyweights like Just Blaze, Nas, and Mos Def. Since 2002, DOOM has released numerous volumes of Special Herbs, one of the longest-running instrumental series in hip-hop history. Now, the seventh and eighth volumes in the acclaimed series are available on CD for the first time in years. With obscure loops and dusty samples galore, Special Herbs Vol. 7 and 8 is a must-have for any DOOM fan or hip-hop head.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” Well, soul musician Aaron “Ab” Abernathy can measure his senior year in high school as one of the most important years in his life. It marked the year he became a man. Using this as the inspiration for his new LP Monologue, Ab allows listeners to follow along on his journey to manhood. Monologue plays out like a novel, where the Abernathy's expand the perception of family over Ab’s expansion of the stripped down Soul/R&B music we’re used to hearing. Whether he’s playing piano, wurlitzer, synths, guitar, programming drums, live drums, or arranging strings and horn lines, Ab’s mastery of musicianship is on full display through Monologue’s array of colorful, complex compositions, coupled with his rich, layered vocals. The album opens with him honoring his parents on the whimsical, Parliament-influenced selection “Son Of Larry,” followed by the melodic up-tempo “Favorite Girl.” On both records, he praises his father and mother and touches on their influence, words of wisdom and bold love. On the groovy “Bachelorette,” where we’re introduced to Ab’s pursuit of his high school love interest, the track gets an assist from long-time collaborators and hip hop heavyweights Phonte and Black Milk. Ab displays his sultry edge on the Prince-inspired soul-pop records “I See You” and “Pretty Kind,” which showcase his raw and playful vocal lead. Doubt creeps in on the soulful mid-tempo “Play It Cool,” where he questions if he should profess his love or take the approach of the track’s title. The landmark moment in his story comes from the wisdom in his father’s advice to be vulnerable, which leads us into the brilliant composition and standout ballad “I Need To Know.” Ab delivers his monologue on the title track, where he acknowledges his mistakes and revels in his spirituality and newfound wisdom in love. Monologue is a touching and refreshing album about family, love, purpose and music. Ab has the ability to make listeners feel connected, each song taking audiophiles on a trip back to their childhood and the nostalgic feeling of young love. Whether you’re a part of the Abernathy family or not, Ab opens the door for you to come in and visit. After visiting for a little while, you too might find your Monologue.
CZARFACE (Wu-Tang Clan's Inspectah Deck & 7L & Esoteric) is back! Fresh off the heels of their collaboration with Marvel Comics the trio continues to combine music and art with their latest release ""A Fistful of Peril"" The back story of this album begins in the summer while Deck and Esoteric were in the studio recording some new Czarface material. During this time Marvel Comics had reached out to Czarface wanting some music to soundtrack their Black Panther web series, promoting their breakout comic of the same name. This Marvel meeting spawned the lead track ""All in Together Now"" and served as the primary inspiration for a fleshed-out album that nobody saw coming. The group camped out in the studio playing beats, talking comics, video games, and pop culture....what came about was ""A Fistful of Peril."" Starting the album off with the ARP keyboard odyssey of ""Electric Level 1"" is like entering the vortex of color and light in Kubrick's 2001. The aptly titled ""Two in the Chest"" showcases Deck & Eso's ability to deliver punchlines and pop culture references with ease over an exceptional bass and guitar combo. ""Czar Wars"" has the two sparring back and forth bringing that 'X-Men/Danger Room' mentality that Deck often to refers to when in Czar-mode. Psycho Les of The Beatnuts steps in on ""Dust"" while ""Lizard City"" introduces 'Czarface Pajamas'. Yes you read that correctly. The off-kilter ""Steranko"" has Meyhem Lauren and Rast join forces with Czarface as they weave their way through a mind-bending array of varying beats. Other features on the album are Conway on ""Machine, Man & Monster"" and AOTP's Blacastan on ""Tarantulas."" Another one of the album's highlights is ""Dare Iz A Darkseid"" which along with ""Talk That Talk"" is the perfect balance of wit and humor that make up the core of Czarface. Building on an already rock solid foundation with two critically acclaimed albums, ""A Fistful of Peril"" features some of the groups most cohesive material. The chemistry between the hungry-as-ever Deck and Eso overflows as the two mc's trade lines, humor and plenty of razor sharp lyrics over the backbone of 7L production. ""A Fistful of Peril"" in a word? ""Excelsior!"""
Funky DL pays tribute to the legendary hip-hop sounds of J Dilla and Nujabes by recreating their famous songs on this fantastic album entitled... "February: A Rest In Beats Tribute To The Sounds of J Dilla & Nujabes". Working tiresomely in the studio, DL with assistance from some of his musical pals crafted a full studio album paying homage to and celebrating the creative ideas originally brought to hip-hop by both the late James 'J Dilla' Yancey and Sebajun 'Nujabes' Yamada. However, DL veers away from intense sampling, avoiding the same breaks as used by Dilla & Nujabes - to bring this fabulously musical, creative and jazzy tribute album. DL felt it fitting for the album to be named February, being that (coincidently) these two hip-hop legends were both born on February 7th 1974, and sadly passed away in February 2006 and February 2010 respectively. As Funky DL's intention was to capture the essence and soulful connection of what they 'both' brought to music lovers around the world, DL carefully hand- selected each track from the catalogues of these two legends and crafted as elegant of a representation as he could to showcase a further progression into the wealth of ideas from Dilla and Nujabes; but taking them that one step further and going beyond the usual restrictions of using only the contents of original samples. This album is certain to bring back the nostalgia of the classics that each track was born from, as well as offering an entirely new audio perspective. The fans of both J Dilla and Nujabes will be pleasantly surprised.
YES LAWD! As temping as it may be to just let that exclamation suffice as your sole introduction to NxWorries, we should go a little deeper. The men at the heart of this LP — soul styler Anderson .Paak and loop beast Knxwledge — make an exceedingly clean pair, even as they deal almost entirely in the gritty: vocals that sound lived in for a couple of lifetimes; beats that kick up dust as they bump; and an 18-track set that plays like a mixtape merging skits, songs, and snippets into a package of fluid groove and rough-cut rap ‘n’ soul gems. You may have heard these two out in the world, on their own or sprinkling some of their musical gold dust on someone else’s songs, but this is what happens when .Paak and Knx get home, lay back, light up, and let it go. If there’s a Blaxploitation vibe to Yes Lawd!, that’s just the depth of NxWorries’ funk and strut showing. If there’s gospel in the grits, that’s the history of the cooks. Each grew up with religion. It was Knxwledge’s job to tidy up the family church in Jersey as a kid, and when he was done, he got to play on the instruments. Better still, when those instruments went bad, he kept them. Similarly, he’d soon find sounds in his growing vinyl cache, and when he moved to Los Angeles in 2008 as a beat maker, his compositions ensured he’d be home at Stones Throw. His hypnotically dank 2015 LP Hud Dreems was the tip of an iceberg—75 Bandcamp collections, and counting. Paak was neck deep in those songs when Knxwledge reached out. The singer grew up in Oxnard drumming in his own family’s church. His folks got locked up when he was a teen, and while he’d eke by on odd jobs (grocer, trimmer, personal assistant), he was homeless for a spell with a newborn son. But .Paak pushed forward, building a career via imaginative albums (2016’s Malibu), and collaborations that always seem to make him the star, even when he’s just there to sing the hook. On Yes Lawd!, .Paak – who calls the album “my best work” – plays theatrically brash version of himself who sings like a ‘70s superstar and talks shit like a stone cold player. But the perfor-mance is seeded with details from his life, which has seen a fair share of struggle and hardwon triumph. Meanwhile, Knx weaves a tapestry of sampled bits and live fragments—bass, brass and violin—that smooths everything over, reminding us that despite whatever struggle it took to get here... well, you already know the name: NxWorries.
It’s been four years since La Coka Nostra released their sophomore album, Masters Of The Dark Arts, (the group's first project without Everlast was also their most critically acclaimed project--- featured collaborations with Vinnie Paz, Sean Price & production from DJ Premier and Statik Selektah) and the music industry has changed considerably in that time. However, a few things still remain constant; La Coka Nostra will always be as their aptly-titled 2009 debut verified, A Brand You Can Trust, and the group will continue to dazzle their rapid fan-base with sold out shows around the globe with their raucous live performances. Always known for tackling controversial topic matter, the group’s new album, To Thine Own Self Be True, finds them once again in torchbearing mode, addressing subjects that most artists shy away from. “This album was created during a time of unique and individual transformation for each member of the group” ILL Bill stated. “Speaking for myself, it’s been a heavy last couple of years. It’s definitely the most personal record we’ve made under the La Coka banner and while we’re still making music that’s hard as fuck, there’s a maturity to this latest batch of songs that makes it different from a lot of the older stuff. I notice the biggest reactions come from the songs our listeners can personally relate to and we needed to make a record like this right now, not only for the fans, but for ourselves. I got alot off my chest on this one. Making music can be extremely therapeutic and making To Thine Own Self Be True was a rebirth and a re-ignition for me.” Slaine had a similar take on the projects therapeutic manifestation “You don’t put as many years in the game as we have without having ups and downs. We all have gone through struggle and adversity—personally and professionally” Slaine lamented. “This album was recorded as I walked out of a very dark time toward a place of truth and understanding. Music has been how I feed my family, my plane ticket around the world and a place I’ve built real friendships; but at the very core it’s a tool I use to get through life. This album is a moment in time. It is visceral and real.” While DJ Lethal continues to oversee the production end of To Thine Own Self Be True, the group also enlisted Statik Selektah, Marco Polo, Salam Wreck (D-12, Obie Trice, Proof, B-Real, Tha Dogg Pound) & ChumZilla (from the Demigodz) and get vocal contributions from extended family members such as Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Q-Unique, Sick Jacken, SKAM2? & Rite Hook.
The much awaited second album by UK's soul hurricane Hannah Williams, recorded and produced by The Heliocentrics' head honcho - Malcolm Catto. Record Kicks proudly presents the new album "Late Nights & Heartbreak" by Hannah Williams & The Affirmations that will hit the streets worldwide next November 11th 2016. Recorded at Quatermass Studio in London - the HQ of the British cult band The Heliocentrics, - the new album has been produced by legendary UK drummer and producer Malcolm Catto. Alongside the Heliocentric albums on Now Again / Stones Throw, Malcolm is responsible for producing great albums such as "Inspiration Information" by Mulatu Astatke, "Jaiyede Afro" by Orlando Julius and "The Last Transmission" by Melvin Van Peebles. Not only this but Malcolm regularly collaborates with artists such as Floating Points, Quantic, Dj Shadow and Madlib. So a new producer and a new life for Hannah; who is also now backed by the Affirmations, her new super tight band from Bristol - who will be touring the record too. The musicianship has ramped up several gears since Hannah's first album; bringing a welcome flare of excellence which punctuates Hannah's heartbreaking vocals and embraces Malcolm's tight, psychedelic production. Mixed totally analogue, and mastered on tape, "Late Nights & Heartbreak" includes 13 tracks of visceral soul with a touch of psychedelic atmosphere - as evidenced by the first single:"Tame in The Water". The sound is tighter and punchier than ever before - a trait of the Affirmations which has been brought out in several mind-blowing tracks - like the 8+ minutes of "Still in My Head". Which grooves hard throughout, and showcases Hannah up to her most show-stopping moment on the album. "Woman Got Soul" is another 5 minutes of groovy, addictive proof that this is next-level for Hannah and her band. The albums' grooves are interspersed with deep and layered soul tracks, like "Another Sunrise" or "Your Luck Can Change" which act as musical beds upon which Hannah explodes with genuine emotions of love, lust, longing and anger - and everything in between.All the songs are original and come from hands of the Bristol-based collective surrounding The Affirmations, led by MD James Graham. The only exception being a monster psychedelic soul version of "Dazed and Confused", which is strongly influenced by the original version by Jake Holmes. Blessed by Sharon Jones, Hannah Williams exploded onto the soul scene with her debut album a "Hill Of Feathers" in 2012. The first single "Work it Out" was an independent hit on the airwaves all over the world. From US to Australia and all around Europe, the single became beloved; to the point where it spent time as the number 1 most downloaded song in Greece. The official video has also garnered over a million views on YouTube. The story of Hannah Williams seems to be written in lore from day one. Her father was a musically gifted minister, and her mother let her join the church choir at the age of 6. Hannah could read music before she could properly read words. Now she's an unstoppable force of incredible, once-in-a-lifetime talent. After the release of "A Hill of Feathers" in 2012, she was catapulted all around Europe, capturing the hearts of all they met including (among others): Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Cat Power, Charles Bradley and Craig Charles. Since then Hannah has made several trips to Europe to headline festivals and stun audiences in clubs such as the Mojo in Hamburg, Magnolia in Milan and Tempo in Club Madrid. Sold out shows at UK venues include Band on the Wall in Manchester, The Colston Hall, Jazz Cafe Camden, 100 Club and Pizza Express Jazz (3 times). As well as this, she has appeared on the UK festival scene, with sets at Shambala, Valley Fest, Wilderness, Cambridge Jazz and Larmer Tree Jools Holland's stage. The whirlwind of Soul is back to grace stages around the world and leave them in tatters afterwards.It will not take long for anyone who hears "Late Nights and Heartbreak" to be conquered by this unique and heart breaking, dance floor shaking blend of raw and real Soul.
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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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