Record Label: Fat Beats Records
There’s a lot to be learned from Large Professor – how to produce, how to rhyme, how to cultivate new talent, how to stay creative and consistent for decades. The passing years only increase his legendary status – as a major collaborator with Main Source, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, etc. – while re-confirming his originality with each new project. So what’s on the syllabus for the Professor’s latest class? In his own words: “taking it back to the B-boy uprock style.”
His latest masterwork Professor @ Large drops June 26 on Fat Beats Records. Large’s impeccable craftsmanship shines on each of the 15 songs, many of them at upbeat park jam tempos. Whether he’s spitting hard with MOP’s Lil Fame, dropping an ill instrumental, or casting his wizened gaze out of the kaleidoscopic cover art, Large Pro is always smooth, on point and uniquely himself.
In addition to Lil Fame, the album features a connoisseur’s selection of fine MCs: Busta Rhymes reminiscing in double-time on “Straight from the Golden”; Cormega and Tragedy Khaddafi bringing the streets on “Focused Up”; Mic Geronimo and Grand Daddy IU keeping cool on “Mack Don Illz”; and Cormega, Saigon, Roc Marciano and Action Bronson comprising the stunning “M.A.R.S” – easily the best posse cut of 2012. In a classy move, Large Pro gives Marco Polo the album’s only production guest spot on the title track.
What possible appeal could AOR (Adult Orientated Rock) have for the street wise hip-hop producer? Well for a start these records were very common. Many sold in their millions, and even those that didn't, at a time when the record industry was in very rude health were pressed in great numbers. If you were an impoverished would be hip hop producer they would be available for cents in thrift stores and other repositories of vinyl ephemera. Once they had bought the record they were in for a surprise. These records could contain a hell of a lot of soul. AOR Breaks is a new (and unofficial) compilation of Classic AOR tracks, performed by the original artists, many of which have been sampled by some of Hip Hop's finest, such as Biz Markie, 2Pac, Warren G, Snoop Dogg, Puff Daddy and more. The album features major artists including Steve Miller Band, Joe Cocker, Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Toto, Kenny loggins, ELO and many others from the scene.
Further carving out it’s place as the home for cutting-edge R&B, Fresh Selects is proud to present the beginning of something special. A formidable songwriter working behind the scenes with major R&B stars for years now - Inglewood, L.A.-based multi-talent, SiR, is now stepping to the forefront with his official solo debut. Effortlessly combining his instantly recognizable voice and universally relatable songwriting with the rawness of the indie L.A. beat scene - SiR defines his own sound that’s both refreshingly new and immediately digestible at the same time. A rare combination of mass appeal and artistic integrity, he’s poised to bring pop appeal to the underground, and substance and a unique ear for production to the mainstream. On his full-length debut, Seven Sundays, his writing covers the full spectrum of a relationship - from infatuation to heartbreak, playful indulgence to addictive co-dependency, and ultimately, growth through letting go. Throughout the album’s 14 tracks, each one single-worthy in it’s own right, SiR flexes his pen game through both personal soul-bearing, vivid storytelling and lighthearted shit-talking alike. SiR’s recent writing placements include Jill Scott’s new single “Fool’s Gold,” plus forthcoming songs by Melanie Fiona (including a duet w/ Mr. Stevie Wonder), Robert Glasper & Anita Baker, Bilal & Tweet, Tyrese & Marsha Ambrosius, and about a dozen others. His debut LP also boasts an all-star line-up of producers, including Knxwledge (known for his work with Kendrick Lamar, Joey BADA$$ and Blu), Iman Omari (Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign), DK The Punisher (Justin Bieber, Dom Kennedy), Chris Dave (Blue Note recording artist, drummer for Adele, D’Angelo), J LBs (Jhene Aiko, Casey Veggies), Alvin Isaacs II (Boyz II Men, Trey Songz) and Tiffany Gouché (Iggy Azalea, Little Simz) - making it an audible time capsule of an exciting moment-in-time for an entire new wave of Los Angeles talent. With all of the stars aligned in it’s favor, it’s a safe bet that Seven Sundays will prove in time to be the seminal West Coast R&B album of 2015!
From Leaving Records, the debut album from drummer Deantoni Parks – John Cale, Sade, The Mars Volta, Flying Lotus collaborator. The relationship between music and technology is always evolving ... but true music can not exist without a soul. Some extraordinary musicians augment their natural talents with technology, adopting its benefits to fuel their own singular vision, and that is the basis of Deantoni Parks' debut album Technoself. Parks is one of the finest drummers working today, displaying a sleek and intuitive balance between raw rhythmic physicality and machine-like precision. He can play on one hand what many great drummers could not achieve with two – which he does frequently. His skills have seen him perform with artists such as John Cale, Sade, The Mars Volta, Flying Lotus and his own boundary-pushing group KUDU, among others. Notable collaborations aside, Parks is an artist in his own right, constantly in motion and expanding towards something new. On Technoself, you hear Parks totally in control. Three of the tracks were recorded live in a session at Dub Lab, the others in a studio. In his own words, "The sound result of Technoself is a digestion of sounds being refined, filtered, and re-arranged in the time period of the average thought." There are no overdubs or loops on this record. The sound is that of "segmented, split-second curated soundscapes atop a highway of refined, war-drum rhythms." The album plays out like a percussive crash course winding through Parks' diverse influences and moods, where the only constant is Deantoni's unmistakable sense of movement. In this case, the most important piece of technology turns out to be the human body.
"Anyone looking for proof that John Coltrane's exalted status is so deserved need only to glance at the amount of time this album took to record. In just three days (Oct 24 - 26, 1960), Coltrane managed to almost effortlessly produce this milestone of modern jazz, and the impeccable Jones/Tyner/Davis line up that supports Coltrane solos ('But Not For Me') give the entire session the feeling that we are experiencing pure genius."