Record Label: Synergy Works
Quelle was first introduced as a member of the legendary Detroit hip hop group Wasted Youth, an extension of the Breakfast Club which also included well known Detroit rappers Elzhi and Ta’Raach. After a stint in the indie rock and electronic scene as a member of two bands, Quelle returned to hip hop along with Detroit hip hop heavyweight House Shoes and released Blue Mondays. He then changed directions releasing two albums with the electro-hop group Awesome in Outer Space and an album with his group Crown Nation called “Slutbag Edition.” “SlutBag Edition,” which Elzhi has called one of “his favorite albums of 2009” and has often been referred to as a detroit classic, led to production collaborations with artists like Guilty Simpson and Fool’s Gold artist Danny Brown. After leading production on Danny Brown’s historic release “the Hybrid” and scoring acclaim from greats like Rah Digga, Just Blaze and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, Quelle has returned to his roots as an emcee once again to bring balance back to the art from he was born to birth.
His newest project, “Shotgun and Sleek Rifle,” is a return and homage to his roots. With features from House Shoes, Danny Brown, Crown Nation member Denmark Vessey, New York’s Rock Marciano, and the group he started it all with, Wasted Youth. The album is a beautiful blend of soul and grunge, pulling both his deep roots in rock and his unmatched love for hip hop. As a teenager his mother asked Quelle what his ten year goal was; his response was “to fly and destroy planets.” This new album, my friends, promises to be the closest he’s come so far.
After spending much of 2012 in the studio, Black Milk returns in top form with Synth or Soul, a vinyl-only EP release prepared especially for Record Store Day. Black Milk’s first official release of 2013 also marks the launch of his instrumental series Fuzz, Freqs, & Colors. The series is a collaborative project with illustrator Upendo Taylor (Nike, Gatorade, Leroy Jenkins), with each volume bringing vibrant, colorful, and forward-thinking visuals to both represent and complement its sound and aesthetic.Synth or Soul offers a distinctly different styles on each side of the record, while showcasing development in his trademark synth-driven or soul-sampling production.
His debut LP for Definitive Jux, DJ/producer RJD2's DEAD RINGER is a deeply creative and musically poignant hip-hop record for summer 2002. Creating a raging underground listenership from a series of 45s and white labels and being the only non-MC signed to Def Jux, RJD2's talent as a DJ and as producer, to match beats and lay cult/pop gems over dusty soul tracks, is paralleled only by people like DJ Shadow and Z-Trip. However, his ability to record and marry MCs to his primarily instrumental and sample-based style is evidenced in outstanding tracks with Copywrite and Blueprint as well as his legacy with the MHz crew; at the end of the day that puts our man from Ohio ahead of his primarily one-dimensional peer group. This set will stand out as monumental for Definitive Jux, who with their first record outside of the New York MC box continues to stride toward really being definitive in their roster and catalog of independent hip-hop.
L.A. producer, Mndsgn’s most recent project, Breatharian, gets the official re-issue treatment via the newly formed Fresh Selects label. The rising instrumentalist - best known for his work with the likes of Danny Brown, Jonwayne, Sonnymoon, Blu, Knxwledge, and more - sees his first retail release in over 4 years and has pulled out all the stops for the occasion. A diverse, conceptual beat tape that takes a varied approach into exploring the strange phenomenon known as “breatharianism” - the project made waves when it first dropped last summer and has now been professionally mixed, mastered, and pressed to vinyl for the first time. Along with it are two new bonus beats, “Hiking” and “Bweyy” (featuring co-producer, Swarvy); the album also marks Mnd’s first ever official music video - in the form of two-fer, “Hiking” / “Fif Dim.
Donuts began simply enough as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release, and has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist’s life. Completed during a year in which J Dilla spent mostly in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Donuts would gain particular poignancy when, only three days after it’s release, February 10, 2006, the artist passed away, losing his battle with a rare blood disease. Back late 2005 when Stones Throw was getting ready to release J Dilla’s Donuts, they made a casual decision to use a drawing for the cover of the 2LP vinyl release, rather than the standard cover photo of Dilla used for the other releases. But now here it is, better late than never: J Dilla’s classic album Donuts now released on vinyl with the smile on the cover. Cover & illustrations by Jeff Jank; photo of Dilla by Andrew Gura. Just a few months ago Stones Throw published a short back-story on the cover photo.