Record Label: Fat Beats Records
Packaged in a tip on "mini LP" jacket with 10x10 poster
On September 4, Southern California’s Blu & Exile return to their collaborative origins with the release of Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, the long-anticipated followup to the duo’s landmark debut, Below the Heavens.
Featuring Fashawn, Homeboy Sandman, Johaz of Dag Savage, Black Spade of Hawthorne Headhunters, and ADAD, the new album on Fat Beats / Dirty Science is both an evolution from and complement to their first: a cohesive, kicked back collection of hip-hop buoyed by Blu’s gymnastic wordplay and Exile’s soulful, sample-driven beats. While Blu’s penchant for introspection and analysis remains intact, his perspective ebbs from the sun-soaked nostalgia of Below the Heavens to a more playful realm where raps about lost love and forgotten dreams find equal footing with those about Gondry films and delivery cheesecake. Together Blu & Exile have taken the raw materials of rap and crafted charmingly idiosyncratic, album-minded mu- sic that transcends coasts and continents alike.
As with Dilla & Common, Hi-Tek & Talib Kweli, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, there’s a kindred understanding between Blu and Exile that invites instant ease and empathy. Although Exile has produced tracks for Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Akon, Aloe Blacc, Jurassic 5, Kardinal Offishall, and Mobb Deep, it is with Blu that his production feels most at home. Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, though undoubtedly a logical progression in both sound and scope, defies all the hype, precedents, and expectations to reaffirm the duo’s position at the forefront of LA’s burgeoning beat scene.
NNA is proud to announce the release of “Preamble,” a recording of new compositions by Qasim Naqvi. Perhaps best known for his work on drums in the modern acoustic trio Dawn of Midi, here Naqvi assumes the role of composer, creating a series of short works for mixed acoustic instruments. The compositions on this recording were originally commissioned by the media artist Mariam Ghani, the choreographer Erin Ellen Kelly, and the St. Louis Art Museum as a score to a film installation loosely based on China Miéville's sci-fi noir novel “The City & the City.” With “Preamble,” Naqvi combines graphic notation with traditional notational forms. Recalling the works of Penderecki, Earle Brown, Ligeti and Xenakis, these aleatoric components allow the ensemble to make spontaneous choices within a structured framework. Naqvi says, "Some of the graphic components deal with dynamics and expression, while others deal with duration and rhythm or ranges that are unique to the particular instruments in the ensemble. This symbolic language is fused into a more conventional style of notation. The conductor can let the ensemble go about their business or at any point, assert a different set of choices into the equation. With “Preamble," I wanted to strike a balance. I wanted the element of chance but not total chance. The performers can make certain choices for themselves, based on the watchful impulses of the conductor." The result is a composition that walks the line between chance and intention. The music impeccably makes full use of the capabilities of each instrument, exploring staccato attacks, fluid sustained tones,trills, scratches and filigree along the way. Harmony is present although abstracted, swaying between dissonance and consonance, but never too far in either direction, drifting in and out of alignment. The emotional tone of the piece cycles from somber to joyous, mysterious to frenetic, and back again. Punctuated by moments of suspended anxiety, "Preamble" finds balance in the cyclical capture and release of tension. Due to the unique nature of this notation, “Preamble” could be performed hundreds of times and no two outcomes would be alike, a quality of inventiveness and originality that makes Naqvi shine in the realm of modern composition. "Preamble" was recorded at the Church of the Advent of Hope in Manhattan, NY by the Contemporary Music Ensemble of NYU, under the direction of Jonathan Haas.
♡In the midst of a nasty break up I was forced to hide in my studio from a love crazed woman wielding a machete. During those 24 hours, I pondered the cyclical nature of relationships and their tendency to slowly form the building blocks that inevitably construct our future selves. As I am not good with descriptions, I decided to express this thought in the form of a short instrumental piece. Upon my escape from the Machete Mistress (as she would later be known), I managed to save the instrumental to a hard drive. What you're about to hear is the result of that harrowing experience and, although none of what you just read is true, the musings in this story were certainly the inspiration for the joint. Moya.I recently played a set with instrumental band Moya Moya. After a brief conversation about what I do, it was agreed that they would allow me to film one of their rehearsals to see what I could do with it. I chopped the video up, made beats and that became Moya. When describing what the hell you just bought, don't say that I sampled the audio from the band because I didn't. If you see the video floating around, don't say that I edited the video to match the beats, because I didn't. The video is the music and vice versa. I should probably hashtag that or something. Anyway, enjoy.
Brooklyn-based deejay and producer MentPlus is excited to announce the release of his debut instrumental EP, Stormy Nights. The 6-track effort gives listeners a variety of sounds that are based on his long history as a beat-battle producer, and party starter in the Tri-state area. In the past, Ment has relied on emcees to help validate his production, but he’s looking to make music that can stand on its own. “Often times various projects I've created got shelved or lost in the noise because the lack of promotional efforts,” says Ment. “My mistake for years has been waiting in limbo for artists to do something with the beats I send them, but now I’m switching gears. I’m investing in myself instead of holding out for someone else,“ he concludes. From the brisk opener, “Whispering” to the J Dilla inspired slapper, “Dillacation,” Nights celebrates Ment’s focus on becoming an instrumentalist. Inspired by the likes of The RZA, Diamond D, DJ Premier, Madlib, and Flying Lotus, the EP serves as a commencement of his revived musical direction. When he was crafting the EP, MentPlus wanted to add his own sound into the fold. “There’s a lot of producers who want to make songs without words, but I’m trying to establish myself as an instrumentalist, a producer, and a deejay. Stormy Nights is my way of conveying my own sound while giving everyone a beat they can really sink their teeth into.” MentPlus’ goal with Stormy Nights and the rest of his work are centered on supporting local talent; he also wishes today’s acts experiment with the tools used by the greats instead of relying on new technology. “Vinyl is forever, whereas your hard drive will probably crash. If you master the fundamentals, you’ll never worry about the fads and trends that that’ll come up.” The project has already caught the attention of famed DJ and producer House Shoes, as well as various tastemakers in the music industry and will be released through High Water Music, on September 23. The EP will serve as a prequel to a full 20 track instrumental LP, set to drop shortly after. If you hear a track that blows your speakers or has the whole crowd going crazy, know that MentPlus is behind it.