Record Label: Kilawatt Music
Towards the end of last summer, after having toured throughout Europe and Asia, internationally renowned producer Eric Lau locked himself away in his North London studio, and quietly began creating the demos for what was to become his sophomore studio album One of Many. Five years later the unmistakable sound of his debut returns, but progressed, refined, and on an entirely new level. The album sees a familiar group of artists assemble, including singers Rahel, Tawiah, Fatima, Olivier St. Louis and Georgia Anne Muldrow. Recorded in a two-month window, and designed simply as a feel-good album, One of Many also sees Lau collaborate extensively with multi-instrumentalist Kaidi Tatham, whose legendary musicianship adds a new depth to already intricate productions. With lead single “Everytime” already setting the blogosphere ablaze, “One of Many” looks set to be the catalyst in a career with unlimited potential.
“Dopeness” – 9th Wonder
“Very special” – Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde is, simply put, one of the most perfect albums in the history of recorded music regardless of genre. From the lyrical flow of Slimkid3, Bootie Brown, Imani and Fatlip to the cover art by Fuct the project is the embodiment of excellence start to finish. Musically, the foundation of this perfection is the production work of J-Swift. His use of jazz samples, phat beats and live instrumentation had the ultimate effect of “creating their own sonic utopia”, as NME put it. As such it’s more than fitting that Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde be released as an all instrumental outing. Swift’s adventurous use of samples from jazz, R&B, funk, classic rock and more melded with his personal additions of live instrumentation including piano, bass, and Fender Rhodes along with drum arrangements from fellow producer JMD create a lush, jazzy soundscape that works well as a stand alone recording. Though the west coast’s predominant G-Funk sound of the time or the east coast’s conscious kings De La Soul may have sold more records at the time, The Pharcyde and J-Swift’s work on Bizarre Ride has stood the text of time and continues to resonate with fans new and old in a way that few records have or ever will.
Returning after their Last Transmission collaborative album with Melvin Van Peebles, the Heliocentrics finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs – Quatermass Studios – with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals Rolling Stone describes as “…sprawling, with percussive patterns that suddenly morph into extraterrestrial sound blasts and opaque, detouring patterns.”
De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest may have been more commercially successful, but the afrocentric, jazz political rap movement and unfadeable Native Tongue Massive started with the Jungle Brothers. Their debut full length “Straight Out the Jungle” opened up many doors that are walked through by today’s artists like Mos Def, Common and even Kanye West. Their taste for jazzy horn samples helped kick-start the entire jazz-rap movement, and their James Brown fixation was one of the first. Plus, the group’s groundbreaking collaboration with legendary house producer Todd Terry, “I’ll House You,” paved the way for numerous hip-house hybrids that shot up the dance and pop charts over the next few years and appeared to be a staple on every East Coast Rap Album from ‘88 until ‘92. The opening track “Straight Out the Jungle” samples the classic Bill Withers drum break as the JB’s tell you where they are coming from. “Black Is Black” (featuring a young Q-Tip) and “Sounds Of The Safari” introduces the pro-black edge, while the sexually subtle classics “Jimbrowski” and “I’m Gonna Do You” are funny, clever and timely. Hard, smart, fun, clever and brilliant, Mike G., Africa Baby Bam and Sammy G may not have realized it but they crafted a classic rap album that stands the test of time. Available here on high grade, loud pressed, double vinyl for the first time ever!