Limited to 1000 Copies These instrumentals, peppered with frequent interludes of dialogue from the classic samurai flick “Shogun Assassin,” became the core of the GZA’s 1995 sophomore LP. The full "Liquid Swords" instrumentals are officially available for the first time on white and black vinyl as nod to the chessboard art synonymous with the album cover. All tracks have been restored, with re-mastered audio from the original source tapes. Available on 2-LP, with custom silk-screened jackets by AntiDesigns, limited to 1.000 copies!
Brogan Bentley first appeared on Leaving Records in 2012 with a tantalizingly brief self-titled cassette EP. After a highly productive incubation period, the young producer returns with his debut LP, The Snake. Its 12 compositions writhe, slink, and crawl through the dark and hazy fog-scape of Bentley’s home of San Francisco in the Year of the Snake. According to the producer, “The Snake is a sonic documentation of coming into new skin, living in it and shedding it.” Fittingly, The Snake is an album of transformation, winding its way around the brooding Burial-esque Whispers, the ecstatic Juke, sparse Acid, and anthemic Diva House. Despite many such radical shifts in color, the album plays out in an utterly natural and captivating sequence. Mournful and uplifting in the same degree, this collection of contemplative yet propulsive dance tracks captures the scope of living, loving, and grasping for understanding all at the same time.
Now-Again Records is the imprint helmed by Stones Throw Records' GM Egon. At Stones Throw he worked and works closely with artists such as Madlib, DOOM, Oh No, Percee P, Guilty Simpson and the late J Dilla to help develop, produce and market some of the most groundbreaking hip-hop of the past decade. At Now-Again he normally produces critically acclaimed anthologies of obscure '60s and '70s funk and soul such as The Funky 16 Corners, Cold Heat Vol. 1 and the Kashmere High School Stage Band's Texas Thundersoul. But every once in a while he hears a new band with music so incredible that he just has to get their music out. And, if their music is too out there for Stones Throw, he releases their music on Now-Again. The Heliocentrics are such a band. Their debut album is fittingly called Out There. Their informal leader, the relentless drummer Malcolm Catto, and Egon have been friends for some time. They've been working to get this project together for over four years. And they're both extremely proud of the result.Good luck trying to categorize their music. The UK collective's objective lays quite a ways beyond what ordinary listeners know or expect. In an alternative galaxy, where the orbits of Hip-Hop, Funk, Jazz, Psychedelic, Electronic, Avante-Garde and Ethnic music all revolve around "The One" - that's where you might find The Heliocentrics. A listen to a song or two reveals no small influence from the funk universe of James Brown. But there's also the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra's music. The cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone. The sublime fusion of David Axelrod. But the Heliocentrics' music isn't retro. It's brand new. And it's timeless. They have well-placed fans in the likes of Madlib and DJ Shadow, who will tell you that this band is really the next shit but that they have the consistency and musicianship that seems to have been lost somewhere in the analog to digital shuffle over the past thirty years. They are the real deal. They are "Out There" in the best possible sense of the word. Dig it.
Disparate producers with complimentary sounds, Evil Needle and Sivey met in an online beat community 6 years ago and to this day have never met in real life. Here, they present their first official EP, 'Constructive Interference', to the world. 'Constructive Interference' was created over the span of 3 years and embodies the unique soundscapes of each producer. Evil Needle, based in Strasbourg France, just on the border of Germany] pulls inspiration from traditional hip hop, neo-soul and trap music while seamlessly weaving in open synths and chunky chord progressions. Manchester, UK-based Sivey incorporates soulful beat-oriented music with what he calls "emotional highs and lows that are still musically stimulating" adding a beautifully uptempo sensibility.
Simon Green aka Bonobo returns with his fourth, most eagerly-anticipated and most accomplished album to date, the magnificent 'Black Sands.' Green proves once and for all with 'Black Sands' that he is an artist and producer with his sights set on much higher prizes than to rule any dusty subgenre of dance music. This is a record of epic reach and massive emotional pull, all held together by Green's understanding of composition and arrangement of live instruments (most of them also played by him) as well as his complete mastery of the tricks and techniques of the digital age. 'Black Sands' is the most contemporary record he has ever made. Opening track 'Kiara' sets out Bonobo's stall quickly. Yes, there is an exquisite string refrain, reminiscent of Chinese art movies, but Green places this within the context of a thumping beat, deep synths and cut up vocals. 'Kong' seems closer to the soul-jazz template which has long influenced the Bonobo sound but each further listen showcases both the intricacy of his productions and the subtlety with which he achieves them. The skipping beat of 'Eyesdown' and the way he weaves Andreya Triana's vocals through layers of sub-bass show Green making his own moves with the influences of two-step. 'El Toro' brings a Brazilian flavour but without losing any of the hard snap of the beats. 'We Could Forever' combines high-life guitar lines with punishing, melancholy bass. First single, 'The Keeper' shows Green and Triana coming through with their most intense, emotional soul jam. 'All In Forms' once again combines a shimmering beauty with some serious beat 'n' bass action. 'Wonder When' showcases Andreya Triana's voice again, this time in the context of a polyrhythmic finger snapper which will lead to euphoric scenes on the dancefloor. 'Animals' sounds like Joy Division jamming with Steve Reich and a bloco band. Title track 'Black Sands' finishes the album with a perfectly judged, melancholy waltz, waves of horns swelling up to the kind of finale that sings in your ears even after it has stopped. Since Simon Green's last album, 'Days To Come', he has become one of Ninja Tune's biggest artists worldwide, with over fifteen million plays on Last.FM and a series of sell out tours with his live band which have moved from venues such as the Luminaire to the Kentish Town Forum and the Roundhouse. This combination of superb live shows and studio wizardry means that he is now perfectly placed to push on into a yet bigger league. With 'Black Sands', Bonobo has made the progressive record to achieve it.
By focusing on the foundation of his creative process and less on the intricacies of his trademark editing and chopping magic, he's emerged with an album that will give fans a subtle taste of every Prefuse 73 record that has come before and will give the haters a deserved shake-up. You don't have to forget everyting you've learned about Prefuse 73 because Preparations is just going to teach you some new things. With records this steadfastly solid in such short supply these days, Preparations seems supremely needed right now. Prefuse 73 says more with an MPC than most artists can on the microphone; listen up.
While Boards of Canada need little introduction, it didn’t stop them mounting a tantalising album teaser campaign of codes and whispers for ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’, their first major release in eight long years, which happily delivered musically amidst a storm of hype. A far cry from the blissed-out guitar washes that characterised its immediate predecessor ‘The Campfire Headphase’, the album focused the mysterious duo’s palette upon a depiction of technological apocalypse glimpsed from a murky distance. ‘Reach for the Dead’ rendered the duo’s trademark blunted hip-hop percussion ghostly, introducing John Carpenter-esque arpeggios which rear their head again and again in the dystopian landscape, perhaps most convincingly on the chilling ‘White Cyclosa’. Cuts like ‘Jaquard Causeway’ and ‘Cold Earth’ showed Boards at their best, with the beats crisp and physical, punching holes in immaculately textured atmospheres which frame yearning square wave synth lines. The album’s length afforded the release luxurious ambient tracks, which through repeated listens slowly became the record’s highlights: ‘Sundown’ pushed gorgeous synth pads in and out of a sandstorm of decayed static, while ‘Transmisiones Ferox’ seemed to beam a disembodied voice from some alternate dimension into the brooding and unnerving landscape. Much like 2002’s ‘Geogaddi’, ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ was a vital examining of the darker underbelly of the duo’s output, and felt like a timely addition to their already formidable catalogue.
Duppy Gun Productions is an Outer-Orbit Dancehall label founded and operated by Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw) and M. Geddes Gengras after their inspiring work with The Congos. Producing and curating riddims from a growing family of Duppy Gun producers, Stallones and M. Geddes Gengras ferry them to Jamaica and record vocalists wherever they are able to find talent and an electrical outlet. Includes production from Peaking Lights, Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras, Matthewdavid, and more.
In a world in which upstart DiY talent is flooding the gates of electronic music, a few recent voices have been so strong as to be startling. Lapalux - AKA 25-year-old Stuart Howard - is certainly one such. As singular as a brilliant artist always should be, his instinctive understanding of the atmospheric power of texture grips the ear immediately on listening. 'Nostalchic' is his debut album, mission statement, and the climax of many years of studying his craft. The amalgam of words that make the title is aptly, and perhaps knowingly chosen. The album evokes nostalgia without ever sounding nostalgic, and Howard may have had his tongue in his chic when he added the second half of the title. The album is his most focused document to date, adding his beloved R&B and soul into elements of house and hip hop, all with the trademark Lapalux finish; infectious, lopsided swing and achingly deep texture. Lapalux was raised in rural Essex, midway between countryside and town; the classic, isolated hinterland that's produced many a distinctive British voice. There's a yearning sense to the record that it's tempting to relate to the young Howard's dreams about what his eventual escape into larger life might be. He certainly had a dream start when a shot-in-the-dark email to electronic hothouse Brainfeeder was immediately answered by label head Flying Lotus himself, who quickly moved on to sign him. To this day, Lapalux remains the only British artist on the Los Angeles based label. Having made fans out of Diplo and SBTRKT, remixed everyone from Lianne La Havas via Crystal Fighters to Bonobo, Tawiah, AlunaGeorge and Speech Debelle, as well as supporting FlyLo and playing the main stage at Sonar and in Japan with Clark, it's prime time for Lapalux's debut full length. Happily, it was well worth the wait.
LAKIM is releasing his first full-length album, This Is Her. Multi-genre producer born and radummyised in Lynchburg, Virginia whose personal motto reads: “keep it simple”, is a part of the storied Soulection crew. Well known for his EP Esoteric, which dropped in summer 2012, the twentysomething year old has collaborations with other stellar artists like Sango and Mr. Carmack as well as various remixes of premium artists such as Erykah Badu, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean range from electronic chillwaved dance to spacey yet refined hip-hop. With a unique sound that seamlessly and effortlessly combines the perfect amount of bass, bounce and vocals, This Is Her becomes palatable to many. The album has an overwhelming feminine vibe to it – light and airy, soft and beautiful. As LAKIM draws the soundscape for this project from some inspiring ladies in his life, the sounds come through as traits: calm & collected, sexy & sassy, grounded & driven, loving & unconditional. “During the course of the year I probably spent making this, I met three woman that embodied some of these traits but not all of them. So, this is essentially me taking the best bits from each of them and creating in my mind a Bride of Franksteinesque ladyfriend and putting it into song form, lol...” - LAKIM
In Bloom showcases a beautiful mixture of lush soundscapes layered with soulful rnb vocals and swirled in live instrumentation, in large part performed by the project's creator, DPAT. "Above Us" represents DPAT's soft, yet intentional beat structure full of dreamy keys, rnb charisma and Sango-infused bass lines. Angelic vocals from Austin-based Isles are weaved throughout the track making it a realistic glimpse into the sound story of In Bloom. 23 year old, Houston, TX native, DPAT, started his journey in formal music production a few years ago and has already garnered a most impressive resume including collaborations with Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd, Sango and JMSN to name a few. With one self-released EP, Blurry, under his belt, DPAT takes In Bloom to the next level and departs from a heavy sample-based sound replacing it with live guitar, piano, and vocal collaborations. "The album atmosphere is dark, contemplative, enigmatic and embodies a nocturnal vibe" -DPAT
Hailing from Sacramento, California, Death Grips was formed in late 2010 and consists of vocalist Stefan Burnett and production team Zach Hill and Andy Morin. The band dropped the highly acclaimed mix tape Exmilitary featuring the standout track "Guillotine", Time Out NY 's #1 single of 2011. The release garnered critical praise from tastemakers such as Pitchfork, NME, Spin, The New Yorker, and more, with many call outs on year end best of lists. Death Grips follow up Exmilitary with their Epic Records debut, The Money Store. The album builds on Exmilitary's unique punk rap sound and explores new territory with standout tracks "Get Got", "Blackjack", and "I've Seen Footage".
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"Sun Ra said he came from Saturn, because white America treated him like an alien, like a creature from outer space, so he became one, an anarcho-emperor of the fantastic, who made it to the moon before America or Russia, because the moon was nowhere near as far out as he could really go." - Paul Morley Strut and Art Yard join forces for a special release to mark what would have been Sun Ra's 100th birthday with 'In The Orbit Of Ra', a new collection curated by the longest serving member of the Arkestra and current bandleader, Marshall Allen. Bringing together Ra highights from over 25 years of music, the album is the first internationally released compilation to provide an introduction to the music of Sun Ra, curated personally by the Arkestra and mastered from the original tapes. With a catalogue of well over a hundred albums, Sun Ra forged his own direction in music from the mid '50s until his passing in 1993, injecting space age cosmic philosophy, ancient Egyptian history and lyrical poetry into a unique and freeform jazz sound. His music evolved constantly with relentless rehearsals, live gigging and recording schedules, developing a second-sense chemistry with his fellow Arkestra band members. Together, their emphasis would often be on improvisation and "the moment", constantly re-interpreting and evolving their sound. Elements of magic and ritual would regularly feature in their performances and would lend the Arkestra a mystical aura. As Sun Ra himself said, "I have many names; some call me Mr. Ra, others call me Mr. Re. You can call me Mr. Mystery." For this exclusive new collection, Strut join forces with Artyard to gain access to the inner sanctum of the Arkestra. In addition to the track selection, the release features recollections and contributions from some of the core Arkestra line-up including Marshall Allen, Michael Ray, Knoel Scott and Danny Ray Thompson. For the music, Allen's selection takes us through the huge variety and intricacy of the Arkestra's work covering the '60s to early '80s, from the celestial blues of 'Spontaneous Simplicity' and 'Plutonian Nights' to the urgent jazz of 'Rocket Number Nine Take Off For Planet Venus' and 'Dance Of The Cosmo Aliens'. The album features an exclusive previously unreleased Sun Ra track from the Art Yard archives, theacoustic 'Trying To Put The Blame On Me' recorded live in Rome in 1977, along with a previously unreleased Part 1 of 'Reflects Motion' from 1962 and an unheard extended version of 'Island In The Sun' from the late '60s. 'In The Orbit Of Ra' is released on 2CD, 2LP and digital formats. Physical formats feature full interview with Marshall Allen along with rare and previously unpublished photos by Val Wilmer.
Chicago Footwork legend DJ Rashad rounds off an impressive year on Hyperdub with his first album for the label, building on two EPs which have shown the extent to which his and his numerous Teklife collaborators' sound have evolved in 2013. Named after the recreational cocktail of codeine and sprite, 'Double Cup' sees trad 808 footwork workouts thrown into collision with more recent mutations of the sound, presenting Rashad's most comprehensive showcase of the diversity and strength of the Chicago scene in 2013.
If indeed "you blows who you is," as Louis Armstrong once famously said, then Stephen Bruner's bass is a mainline to the soul of a man whose DNA was transcribed from the stars onto staff paper. His Flying Lotus-produced debut, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, offers both stone-cold skill and uncanny astrality, picking up where the pair left off on 2010's Cosmogramma and further distilling the jazz current running through that landmark Lotus release. A longtime contributor to others' albums, Bruner, aka Thundercat, is accompanied by an impressive cast ranging from Erykah Badu to members of Sa-Ra and J*DaVeY, to pianist Austin Peralta and his own Grammy-winning brother, drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr. Still, the end result is unmistakably a Thundercat record -- a lush and magical document combining classic jazz fusion, futurist electronic strains and timeless musical seeking. A native of South Los Angeles, Bruner found his instrument at the age of 4. That made him a late-bloomer in the house of Ronald, Sr., who drummed with the Temptations among others. His first bass was a black Harmony, and he practiced to the Ninja Turtles soundtrack until pops played him Jaco Pastorius. School was a blur of lessons, sessions and waking up for zero periods. At 15, he scored a hit in Germany as part of the short-lived boy band No Curfew. At 16, he toured Japan with soul man Leon Ware and joined thrash legends Suicidal Tendencies (he's still their bassist). More road and studio time followed, with everyone from Stanley Clarke to Snoop Dogg to Eric Benét. Eventually the name Thundercat stuck, a reference to the cartoon he's loved since childhood and an extension of Bruner's wide-eyed, vibrant, often superhuman approach to his craft. As one writer put it, he's "a mutant jazz cat," nuff said. Spanning a cosmic stew of players, locations and times, The Golden Age of Apocalypse was years in the making even though Bruner had never planned on releasing his own music. But Lotus spurred him on, and each song became a journey. There's the ebullient "Daylight," a soft whirl of bluesy piano, New Age synth, snapping beats and warm bass. There's "Walkin'," an upbeat soul strutter powered by Bruner's digitally distorted plucks. There are raw, improvised numbers like "Jamboree" and virtuosic bass pileups like "Fleer Ultra." One of the album's most stunning moments arrives with a spacious cover of George Duke's "For Love I Come," a taut beauty spangled with crystalline harp and keys. Bringing this string of divinely unexpected moments to a moody and cinematic close is "Return to the Journey." There, Bruner sings, "Time will pass us by," but listeners needn't worry. Inside of this space, time really isn't a thing.
DJ Shadow, a.k.a. Josh Davis, could be credited with bringing newfound introspection to the gloating sounds of hip-hop. Condensed with urban oscillations and scatological beats, Endtroducing..... shutters with eclectic samples and aural montages that reach beyond the constraints of hip-hop style. Enhancing the mix with fundamentals of rock, soul, funk, ambient, and jazz, the modern fusions fail to go unnoticed, even by the casual listener. While most of the tracks are compiled by layering samples from vinyl treasures found in used-record bins, the production quality of the mosaic is unmatched. Darkened melodies carry throughout the album with its eye on the end of the tunnel. The narration samples come from numerous sources and keep the listener involved and waiting for resolution. With a message as fragmentary as an overheard conversation, Endtroducing..... conveys no apparent conclusion, but begs the mind, body, and soul for some rewind.
Originally released in 1971, the follow-up to the massive success of Shaft, the double LP Black Moses was a personal favorite of the artist. Black Moses was heavily sampled in the hip-hop community and features some of ISAAC HAYES' best cover versions (Jackson 5, Carpenters, Dionne Warwick), as usual he makes those hits all his own. It's reissued here on 180 gram vinyl and, for the first time, with an exact reproduction of the original custom fold out cover. A classic.
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Daily Operation is a 1992 album by Gang Starr. The album represents the gritty sound of early 1990s Brooklyn hip-hop. Guru rhymes on a variety of subjects, from the hypocrisy of the government, pro-Black rights and anti-prejudice, to his intellectual depth on "2 Deep," to his penchant for smoking marijuana on "Take Two and Pass," to anger and sadness on "Take it Personal," to the opposite sex in "Ex Girl to the Next Girl." DJ Premier and Guru are credited as the producers of every track. The track "I'm the Man" also features the debuts of Lil' Dap from Group Home and Jeru the Damaja, two artists who gained instant underground credibility because of the exposure. Despite the album originally only being rewarded 3.5 mics in The Source, it was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Hip Hop Albums in 1998.
Driven by the same iconoclastic, antiauthoritarian and pimp-turned-poet mentality that made Ice-T a gangster rap pioneer, a platinum artist from the streets and a household name in film and television before “rapper/actor” was a commonly used term, Body Count flipped the script with the same tenacity when they bumrushed heavy metal. The first rumblings of Body Count were heard in the eponymous song unleashed on Ice-T’s gigantic O.G.: Original Gangster album in 1991, which hit stores just two months after his first major movie role in the modern crime classic, New Jack City. The fierce thrash of the “Body Count” anthem put people on notice that the Megadeth cap Ice-T wore on MTV wasn’t for show: aggressive heavy metal and hardcore is in his blood. Body Count built a huge buzz on the inaugural run of the legendary Lollapalooza tour in 1991 - alongside Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Living Colour and the Violent Femmes - issuing their self-titled debut album in 1992 which was home to the well received single "There Goes the Neighborhood" and initially the controversial song "Cop Killer" which was called out by the President of the United States and sparked a huge boycott against Warner Bros. The group eventually elected to delete “Cop Killer” from future pressings as a result. From the punk bite of their gold debut through the metallic triumph of Born Dead (1994), Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997) and Murder 4 Hire (2006), Body Count stands as the group that dropped hip-hop attitude into heavy metal and hard rock music before Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Hollywood Undead, despite nary an ounce of rapping over their mosh-pit inducing songs. Body Count is a full on metal band, fronted by a legendary rapper who drops knowledge, violent stories and verbal middle fingers, with a bellowing growl descended from some of punk rock’s most pissed off screamers. In anticipation of Body Count's long awaited return in 2014 with their new Sumerian Records release Manslaughter, Rhino/Warner Bros. is unleashing the band's groundbreaking self-titled debut back on vinyl for new and old generations of metalheads alike.
2003's The Black Album was the purported swan song from legendary rapper/record producer/entrepreneur Jay-Z and although he eventually returned with more material, he treated the release as such and it's yet another essential chapter in his unprecedented journey to hip hop supremacy. Featuring tracks by Rick Rubin, Timbaland, Kanye West, Eminem, The Neptunes and Just Blaze among others, The Black Album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. Includes the Top 10 singles "Change Clothes" and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" along with the old-school Rick Rubin produced cut "99 Problems."
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Their remake of "Killing Me Softly" was the hit, but that's only the beginning of the story. A hip-hop trio whose talents reach out into the world of the pop song (Wyclef Jean is a fine guitar player, and Lauryn Hill's a heck of a singer), the Fugees are also all distinctive, inventive rappers--you find yourself waiting for each of them to take the next verse in turn. The beats are the familiar crossed-armed boom-bip, but the group's understated grooves and subtle effects lie low in the mix. Aside from two kicky covers of classics (the other is Marley's "No Woman, No Cry"), The Score's focus is on the stars' rhyming with the free-form grace of performance poets and showing that they've thought deeply about the issues they raise.
Hits, Rarities & Remixes is a compilation album by A Tribe Called Quest. It features two previously unreleased songs ("Mr. Incognito" and "The Night He Got Caught") as well as remixes and some of the group's more familiar songs. It also contains songs that were featured in movie soundtracks.
It’s odd that while Ghostface Killah is critically revered as a defiantly independent lyrical auteur, Method Man is consistently derided as a thoughtless stoner, crassly pandering to his audience’s lowest expectations. Though such criticism may carry some weight in 2007, it’s important to remember that with the superlative Tical, Method Man released what may be the most impenetrable, dissonant, and unnerving album in the entire Wu-Tang catalog. The very fact that such an inaccessible album was a commercial success is testament to Meth’s immeasurable charisma as an MC. Even in his most deliriously dusted moments Meth always manages to inject a pinch of devil may care charm into his drug damaged badinage, and the infectious refrains that made “M.E.T.H.O.D. Man” stand out on the Wu-Tang’s debut can be found all over Tical, emerging out of the sonic chaos just as things are about to become completely unhinged. Rza is in fine form throughout, and provides Meth with a set of shambolic but inspired productions that completely upend conventional notions of what Hip-Hop should sound like. Every beat, from the eerie wails of “Mr. Sandman” to the mesmerizing “Sub Crazy,” is an unqualified masterpiece, and Meth is more than up to the task of blessing these beats with the finest in sly come-ons, raucous threats, and mumbled madness.
During the 1990s, the line between jazz and hip-hop had crossed numerous times, leaving the perfect opening for the legendary Philadelphia upstarts The Roots to release their self-produced debut, Organix. The album generated significant enough industry buzz that they were signed to a major-label soon after. Long before one of the greatest live hip-hop groups of all-time was entertaining audiences of thousands on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Organix was the band at its' loosest and most playful, and a pinnacle in the development of the group, which would culminate with their landmark release "Do You Want More?!?." An important part of any fan of The Roots, or funk-inflected rap music in general, featuring the smooth basslines of Leonard Hubbard, the sinuous organ-work of an early Scott Storch, and the jazzy beats and esoteric rhymes of the band's longest-serving members, ?uestlove and Black Thought.
Blue Note has long been the exemplar in jazz, being the home of some of the most important jazz recordings ever made. What most don't know is that 50 years after the label's inception, the music would prove to be an integral resource of a whole new movement and genre: hip-hop. The art of sampling in hip-hop has been around since the late-'70s, but the wave of the most creative and aesthetically driven sampling began during the early-'90s. Hip-hop artists delved into the previously unexplored genre of jazz, and the music was changed then and for the next decade to come - with Blue Note as the hub of its ingenuity and inspiration. From A Tribe Called Quest to Gang Starr to Dr. Dre to the Beastie Boys, Blue Note has been the source of a deep groove, a soulful vamp, or hittin' beat that we associate with some of the greatest hip-hop songs. Whether it's the soulful bass line of Ronnie Foster's "Mystic Brew" which served as the most memorable element in A Tribe Called Quest's entrancing "Electric Relaxation," the colossal orchestral intro that instantaneously has you at attention awaiting the beat to drop on Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode," or the funky big-bang groove of Joe Williams's "Get out of My Life,Woman" which is the sole inspiration of non-stop head-nodding on Kool G Rap's "Ill Street Blues," Blue Note's got it covered. Blue Note is Droppin' Science, bringing it back to the lab of the jazz, funk, and soul chemists who gave the label some of the most influential and groundbreaking music of their time. We've dug deep into the crates to spotlight some of our most treasured works, as we tip our hat to some of the greatest hip-hop artists and producers ever. Who got da props? The Finest in Jazz, hands down.
1. Straight Outta Compton2. Fuck tha Police3. Gangsta Gangsta4. If It Ain't Ruff5. Parentel Discretion Iz Advised6. 8 Ball [Remix]7. Something Like That8. Express Yourself9. Compton's N the House [Remix]10. I Ain't tha One11. Dopeman [Remix]12. Quiet on the Set13. Something 2 Dance 214. Fuck tha Police [*]15. Gangsta Gangsta [*]16. Dopeman [*]17. If It Ain't Ruff [*]18. Compton's N the House [Live][*]
Following two acclaimed solo albums in the last four years, Hempstead, Long Island MC/producer Roc Marciano embarks on a new feat. Having almost exclusively showcasing his slick, gritty narratives over self-produced sparse, nostalgic beats, the former Flipmode Squad member and U.N. co-founder is opening his unique sound to some of his friends and respected peers for Marci Beaucoup. Since early 2011, Roc plugged away at what he calls, "An album that wasn't all about me, but more of a project that was about how other artists sounded on my beats." Those guests include Cormega, Freeway, Guilty Simpson, Boldy James, Knowledge The Pirate, longtime affiliate KA, as well as AG Da Coroner. The last is Marci's first signing as VP of A&R at Man Bites Dog Records, the same respected imprint responsible for the third album in Roc's solo franchise. Marciano hopes to gain recognition as the latest in a long line of championed MCs and beat-providers. "It's the music I grew up loving," he says of self-contained Hip-Hop. "Q-Tip, EPMD, Rakim, Ultramagnetic MCs-all of those artists, they weren't just rappers. They were involved in their sound and production. So I'm just pretty much following tradition." With his cold accounts of "Pimpstead," and a vividly-described metropolitan underbelly, Roc's dusty sources, film dialogue, and subdued basslines sound made for each other. However, after two albums that topped year-end lists, and prompted a reported debate between Jay Z and The Roots' ?uestlove over which was better, Roc says he has even more to offer in number three. "Now, when I listen to stuff that I've done a while back, I want to flip it a whole different way. Lately, I feel like I have no style: I do what I have to do. Back in the days, I stuck to a four-bar loop. Now, I don't have any rules." The unconventional approach comes to life on Marci Beaucoup, through Roc's personal highlights, including "Squeeze" with Random Axe's Guilty Simpson, and longtime collaborator, Brownsville's KA. In honing his craft, Roc is deliberately hands-off with artists. "I don't come to people with concepts, unless we have to follow the guidelines of the track," he admits. "If I'm workin' with somebody, I want them to do what they feel. I don't want to govern a project too heavily. I'd rather just everybody do what they naturally do." Additionally, the Los Angeles-based New Yorker also only makes music when he's compelled. "The only time I really listen to music is when I'm about to do some creating," he says, referring to music beyond the N.W.A., Max B, and Erick Sermon in his current car stash. "That's when I start doing my digging. I did some record shopping today. I'll listen to the records tomorrow, or whenever I feel. I make the beats as I get the samples. I gather samples and push 'em aside to track the record." With the third LP, Roc looks forward to offering an array of videos. "It's important for people to see records come to life. I'm trying to do more of that," said Roc, who hopes this project awakens more of his peers in addition to the growing fan-base. "People can now see how I do albums, and become more comfortable with it. Hopefully, more artists I respect can ask me to produce." In his trademark dry nature, the double-threat looks ahead and says, "I don't only just wanna be rappin'."
The Koreatown Oddity’s debut full-length LP, 200 Tree Rings, was released June 10th on New Los Angeles Records, featuring production by Jeremiah Jae, Ras G, House Shoes, Kone, AshTreJinkins, Luke Cage, Giovanni Marks, and Dominique himself. The album tells the story of The Koreatown Oddity’s journey to enlightenment leading up to his final days. Packed with aberrant loops and enthralling rhyme patterns, we are taken by the neck from the very beginning and held captive for 12 tracks - until we die with him. The album is available on all major digital outlets, as well as limited edition cassette and vinyl.
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Professor Brian Oblivion is a producer and DJ whose sample based, boom bap style is rooted in Golden Era Hip Hop while steadily projecting towards new treatments. He recently contributed production to Homeboy Sandman’s album “Hallways,” alongside heavy hitters Oh No, DJ Spinna and Jonwayne. The second single release from his upcoming instrumental full-length album, “Dissertations Vol.1”, Professor Brian Oblivion brings us, “Like This!”. Hard hitting drums drop once the needle hits the groove and as soon as the swing of syncopated snares gets you in the pocket, the lightness of a playful organ melody and airy synths create a well- balanced beat breakfast. Hungry for more? The bonus break is a healthy slathering of the track’s heavy percussion section; a helping so good, it’ll get you through the day. Flip to the B-side and Professor Brian Oblivion offers a more full-bodied experience with “Caution”. Dark, moody funk collides with dissonant synth swells and menacing horn stabs, warning listeners to tread lightly. “Dissertations Vol. 1” is the highly anticipated LP release that is the follow up to the professor’s debut album, “The Dark Realities of the Moment” (2011).
Last year we launched Audessey & ACatCalledFRITZ through their debut single “By Design/The Hop”, which was followed by the digital release of their album Beats Per Minute. This jazzy and soulful album has now been pressed in limited numbers to 160 gram vinyl, with killer art design by FRITZ himself.
Mark De Clive-Lowe follows a successful crowd-funding campaign with the release of his long-awaited Church LP, a culmination of his musical travels to date and an homage to his live performance series of the same name, which hits like a shock to the heart as he delivers 13 genre-defying tracks packed with the kind of sonic ingenuity and craftsmanship the game has often been missing. With the arrival of this project, Mark De Clive-Lowe etches his name into the ground paved by his musical forebears and builds a sacred space upon it for all who dare to challenge the limitations of society and sound. Mark De Clive-Lowe teams with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Nia Andrews, John Robinson, Contra Mestre Xingu, theeKIDICARUS and Low Leaf to present a heat seeking musical hybrid of a compilation that combines all of what he is with an enticing glimpse at his infinite possibility. He offers a note on the project alongside the album: “CHURCH the album is the culmination of the last three years of my LA and NYC clubnight, CHURCH. it’s equal parts jazz club, live remix experiment and dance party – joining the dots between improvisation, live musicians, electronics and sampling. this is the album i always wanted to make – it’s the culmination of all my globetrotting, collaborations and experiences.” “(the) avant-garde soulful Pianist/DJ/Producer delivers his lifetime of journeys to different musical ports in a concise package, seamlessly... transporting not just in genre but in emotion and spirit.” - Huffington Post
A boom-bap study on the discography of Pink Floyd. This vinyl and tape release features twenty of Dert’s personal favorite tracks from the Dert Floyd/Westside of the Moon beat tape remastered and sounding better than ever.
Natural Numbers is the new dub project from producer Tom Chasteen, co-founder of Los Angeles’ Dub Club, who has released several records under the Dub Club name. This new musical creation draws inspiration from African, Middle Eastern and Country sounds as well as Reggae. Natural Numbers in Dub is dub music in the classic Jamaican sense: original recordings of an all-star band, deconstructed and pieced back together with echo and reverb in real time on the mixing board. Chasteen recorded the album at Kingsize Soundlabs in Los Angeles in late 2013, co-writing the album with collaborating musicians. Tom Chasteen has been a fixture on the Los Angeles music scene for over two decades. He co-founded the west coast’s first EDM label Exist Dance in 1991, and since 2000 he has been running the Dub Club, a weekly Reggae party which has become a world- renowned event. In partnership with Stones Throw Records, his new productions bring the Dub Club into musical form, working with Jamaican legends and bringing fresh inspiration to a classic sound. Natural Numbers in Dub is his first release as Natural Numbers.
Party Supplies are a one-of-a-kind New York duo. They mash Stratocaster riffs over vaporized drum machine beats to write love songs you’d think were beamed straight from classic rock radio, then lend that same denim jacket soulfulness to collaborations with Action Bronson, Danny Brown and other new school rap heroes. On their debut album Tough Love, PS showcased their knack for postmodern pop songcraft under a haze of lo-fi samples and distortion, but these new remixes go full 1080p HD courtesy of club masters The Knocks and Lazerdisk. “Going Back To New York” gets the fist-pump treatment it deserves, while “Beautiful Girl” is reinvented as a poolside nu-disco stomper. Turn up the hi-fi and zone out...
Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (The Neptunes) have been the hottest producers in urban/pop music for years now. On their debut as performers they take a left turn from the hard hitting tracks they've produced for everyone from Jay-z to Britney Spears and give us a fresh, innovative, classic record. IN SEARCH OF Is the debut album from the hip-hop, rock, funk band N.E.R.D (No One Every Really Dies). The group is comprised of super producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, along with their longtime friend Shay Haley. Fusing rock and rap more forcefully and convincingly than any other album at the time, IN SEARCH OF successfully bridges the worlds of Pop/R&B and Alternative/Classic Rock into a blessed union of sound, making it one of the best albums of 2002. As part of the Respect The Classics series, UMe will be putting this classic double LP back in print on white vinyl. The reissue also includes the original electronic version of ''Run To The Sun'' as a bonus track.
Tenth anniversary re-issue in 2014! 2LP colored vinyl (one LP orange / other LP is blue). Included for the first time, ''Shoomp'' featuring Sean Paul. "De La Soul were interrupted just before they could deliver the third volume in their AOI series -- projected to be a DJ album -- to Tommy Boy. (The label perhaps bailed out from a 15-year relationship precisely because the group was going to release such a commercially bankrupt title, one that was planned instead to appear on an independent label run by Maseo.) De La Soul quickly realized they couldn't go ahead with the plan after signing their AOI label to Sanctuary, so they wrote a new record, The Grind Date. Although it may see them settling into a holding pattern, at least the pattern of 2001's AOI: Bionix is one that any hip-hop fan won't mind hearing repeated. Better yet, it boasts productions from an excellent cast of figures -- partner in crime Supa Dave West, author of the best tracks on their AOI series, J-Dilla, who's stretching out his patented (read: overdone) sound to embrace classic hip-hop, an only slightly commercialized Madlib, and young phenom 9th Wonder. Madlib gets what must be the first lead single of his career, a bright, antimaterialist tale called "Shopping Bags (She Got From You)" that thumps like a club tune, but lurches as only the Beat Conductor could do it. "Verbal Clap" finds J-Dilla allowing some grit into his productions, and Supa Dave only continues floating the most fluidly catchy productions of any rap producer in action. Meanwhile, De La Soul voices Posdnuos and Dave balance their time breezing easy on bumping message tracks with a few old-school shots that show them a bit defensive about the passing of time. (Check out "Come On Down," a Madlib-produced shot with Flava Flav, or "Days of Our Lives" featuring Common.) Without a concept to tout, The Grind Date doesn't gel like AOI: Bionix, but it does show De La Soul keeping everything together more than 15 years after their debut. After all, you certainly wouldn't see MF Doom guesting on a Tone-Loc record." -John Bush
By the time Mobb Deep hit with their third album – Hell On Earth – they were solidified street legends. Coming off the critically acclaimed The Infamous, Havoc and Prodigy hit the lab and came back with a soundtrack that is fitting to its title. Havoc’s production is atmospheric; laced with his trademark drums loops and sharp pianos stabs. Add Prodigy’s trademark flow and it’s evident that the pairing is such an amazing match. While Hell On Earth is essen- tially a continuation of The Infamous you can still hear the growth in both performers and Hell On Earth stands as some of their best work. The album features guest appearances by Nas, Raekwon, Method Man, and frequent collaborator Big Noyd. The album stands out for its acclaimed singles "G.O.D. Pt. III" and "Hell on Earth (Front Lines)," as well as “Drop a Gem on 'Em". Standout album cuts are “Animal Instinct”, “Bloodsport”, “More Trife Life” and “Can't Get Enough”. The previously as a B Side “Still Shinin’” still rings off and rounding out the album is the deep “Apostle’s Warning”. This album is essential listening and a must have and we are excited to have it back in print on double LP.
Birthed in the back alleys of Baltimore, nurtured by NYC, and ultimately coming-of-age on the highways of the southwest on their way to California, Silk Rhodes are the dynamic duo of astro-traveling producer Michael Collins and singer Sasha Desree. Their voyage began in a 1997 Honda CRV turned DIY recording studio built to capture and share light-bulb moments as they happened. The approach was simple: run a microphone into loop pedal, connect the looper to the car stereo via cassette-tape adaptor, and start spitting out ideas.Then Collins and Desree, alongside a host of roving lunatics and pranksters, would broadcast their experiments to the streets, commenting on their observations in rhyme, soliciting ideas from strangers, and inviting people into the car to contribute vocals, or loop beats.These experiments spawned sound collages, and stream-of-consciousness hymns, as well an an electric boogie tune with nods to Joe Jackson and George Benson (“Face 2 Face”), and a lonesome ballad that sounds like a still-lost Donnie and Joe Emerson song produced by Gamble & Huff (“Pains”). Under the banner of Silk Rhodes, Collins and Desree challenge preconceived notions of what Soul Music is, can, and should be. Steeped in the human experience, Silk Rhodes debut is a collection of songs that exemplifies their free spirited vision for future soul music.A touchstone for exploring inner visions.
"Do It, Do It Disco" released in the form of a classic disco 12-inch. Side A has two remixes of the original album track, one by Tom Noble, the second by J Rocc. Side B features the original, unreleased extended version of the track which runs over 12 minutes.
Following up Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Pinata – this EP contains exclusive tracks not available on the album. “Knicks,” in remixed form, now features a new verse by Gibbs alongside Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom. The b-side, “Home,” features BJ The Chicago Kid – the velvet voiced vocalist from the duo’s earlier “Shame” – and Madlib’s two-part soul-flip carries Gibb’s narrative about a traveling man’s disregard for his woman at home. Both sides are completed by previously unheard Madlib instrumentals.
Truth & Soul is proud to present the first Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band single on our imprint. Following up on the smashing success of their "Bacao Suave" b/w "Round & Round" 45 on Plane Jane, we bring you "PIMP" b/w "Laventelle Road March". Back in 2008, BRSB released its smashing cover of 50 Cent's "P.I.M.P." which was long thought to be the original sample for the tune. The Mocambo pressing already hard to come by and fetching top dollar on the internet has become an underground classic. On Side A, BRSB treat the tune to their signature smashing drums and bass heavy production, taking the original loop and turning it into a full composition. Brass and steel pan parts putting it some- where between reggae, steel funk, and the Superfly Soundtrack. Side B is the first BRSB original making its way to vinyl, "Laventille Road March" hits hard. The heavy drumming, open breaks, and pan melodies make this a sureshot for DJs and listeners alike.
On the heels of his debut collaborative LP with Evidence, Lord Steppington, and production on Directors of Photography, the latest from legendary L.A. outfit Dilated Peoples, comes a new chapter in the Alchemist’s Rapper’s Best Friend instrumental series. The third in its series, Rapper’s Best Friend 3 is comprised of instrumentals of tracks produced by the Alchemist for artists such as Schoolboy Q, Styles P and Mobb Deep.
The Red Gold & Green Machine is a much needed return to the roots and culture aesthetic and approach to hip-hop, soul music and world music. The two-man, one-woman hip-hop group format has pretty much disappeared from the musical landscape over the years with the disbanding of the Black Eyed Peas and the Fugees, and the vibe along with it. We pulled from the entire African diaspora of sound to give the entire world an album with substance, style and soul; never one without the other. With the electronicaliztion of modern music, elements of soul and pure talent often get lost. We aimed to make something real to counteract all the smoke and mirrors. No tricks here. She sings her ass off, he raps his ass off, live or on any quality recording device. 3 highly specified entities merged to create an album and the result is something unique and and dense with words of love, enlightment and encouragement and powerful performances. Its all here. Our 1st collective contribution to life. This is the soundtrack to the lovelution.. universe wide. Universoul music.
An interplanetary space/love odyssey featuring Melvin Van Peebles (Brer Soul, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song). Following Heliocentrics' Out There and 13 Degrees of Reality albums. 2 CD – Instrumentals included on bonus second disc. Melvin Van Peebles, the filmmaker, musician, author behind the landmark movie Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and the trilogy of Brer Soul albums he released in the 70s has teamed with the UK ensemble Heliocentrics to create an interplanetary space/love odyssey told in twelve chapters. The Last Transmission comes nearly ten years after Van Peebles' appearance as the third member of Quasimoto on Stones Throw Records' 2005 release The Further Adventure of Lord Quas. For the Heliocentrics, The Last Transmission represents their third Now-Again album, following Out There in 2007 and 13 Degrees of Reality in 2013. Van Peebles makes for the Heliocentrics' ideal foil: he did graduate work in astronomy in Holland in the 1950s and maintains an avid interest in cosmology. The Heliocentrics, as their name conveys, draw inspiration from both the philosophic leanings of the likes of Stephen Hawkings and interstellar mysteries, like those surrounding the Malian Dogon tribe's knowledge of the Sirius B star hundreds of years before it was discovered. Their music is as indebted to Sun Ra's interstellar jazz as it is inspired by psychedelia's spiritual expanse. The Last Transmission, presented as a vocal album and an expanded instrumental selection on a bonus disc, can be taken as both the band's interpretation of Van Peebles' poem and a musical voyage inspired by Van Peebles' vivid imagery. The band considers it their defining work, the result of more than a decade of playing and recording together. They've found a voice as a band, one that meshes with Van Peebles,' as he weaves an intergalactic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." In between producer/drummer Malcolm Catto's thunderous syncopation and producer/bassist Jake Ferguson's bellowing bass lines, amidst the analog electronics and atmospheric interference naturally accorded by their organic analogue process, Van Peebles' voice floats in and out, spectral in its tone, complete in its conviction in the unfathomable sense that life's eruption in the cosmic expanse made, and in love's ability to transform and transcend death.
It's next to impossible to put down the creative genius that is Cookin' Soul. With nearly a decade of remixes, and mashups under their belts, the Spanish duo have proven to the world that they have a knack for bringing out the best in any artist they decide to sonically reconstruct. But what would happen if they took a direct flight to Queens? On the Big Noyd, Large Professor and Kool G Rap featured street banger, "Naturally Born," that's exactly what happens. After recently appearing on Coalmine Records' decennary compilation LP, Unearthed, the original Ayatollah produced head nodder, provided a nostalgic backdrop for the trio to do their thing; this time around, Cookin' Soul have taken the track to new heights by giving an Uprock-themed overhaul to the original, connecting more to the era of Shell Toes and dookie rope chains, than the time when Timbos and gold medallions reigned supreme. Both versions are now available through Coalmine Records as a limited edition 7-inch 45, exclusively for Black Friday. For more hard hitting, innovative remixes, make sure to check out Coalmine's forthcoming remix compilation, Remineded: A Collection of New & Old Remixes, which includes features from the likes of Blu, Royce da 5'9", Heltah Skeltah and Guilty Simpson, and includes remixes from Large Professor, Diamond D, M-Phazes, Audible Doctor, and more!
The first installment of the One-derful! Collection focuses on the namesake imprint of this legendary Chicago label group – to be followed by compilations of the Mar-V-Lus, M-Pac!, Halo, Midas, and Toddlin’ Town sub-labels. It marks the first in-depth study of what was once one of Chicago’s most prominent African-American run labels. One-derful! Records is available in 2xLP and CD formats, and within the grooves of these 25 tracks lie orchestrated soul classics from McKinley Mitchell and Betty Everett, raucous mid-1960s R&B dancers from the Five Du-Tones which shake every bone, superb deep soul ballads from Otis Clay, and extraordinary group harmony sides from The Sharpees and The Admirations, plus 12 tracks that have never been issued! Between 1962 and 1971, the One-derful! family of labels released 180+ 45s of stunning soul, funk, and gospel. Over two years of painstaking research and work, including countless hours spent cataloging, transferring, and mastering 250 of the label’s tapes, has contributed to an amazingly extensive reissue collection. In addition, some of the world’s leading experts have contributed liner notes and interviewed virtually every known surviving artist, producer, and otherwise involved party. In total, the six volumes of the One-derful! Collection include 12 LPs/6 CDs with 147 tracks, 57 which were never issued, and 144 pages of 12” x 12” liner notes stuffed full of rare and never before seen photos and memorabilia. Spanning 1962 to 1971, these compilations bring forth a wealth of overlooked and never before heard recordings and history.
First official wide release with album art on vinyl for the bands best-selling critically acclaimed album Featuring the "Riot" album cover artwork in gatefold sleeve including liner notes. Double album on audiophile 180 gram vinyl.
Limited edition 7" pressing with selections from the highly collectable 1995 EP, Big Willie Smith. Produced by Kutmasta Kurt in 1995.