Record Label: Redefinition Records
Abstractions is an international collaboration featuring Maryland’s lyricist extraordinaire, K.A.A.N. going in with no breaks over some of German producer Klaus Layer’s most unique soundscapes to date. Hip-Hop as a genre is big on labels and while many might consider the musical styles demonstrated on here to be “boom-bap” inspired with a side of “lyrical miracle,” there’s more than meets the ear happening here.
The project is brief but thanks to the dense layers of both music and introspective wordplay crafted by the artists, listening to “Abstractions” is a very rewarding experience. The two first collaborated on the deep cut, Sleepy Hollow People, from Layer’s Society Collapse LP in 2016. Out of mutual interests and positive fanfare, a whole EP was recorded shortly afterward. Hearing K.A.A.N. rap is a treat for rap connoisseurs as he dynamically delivers complex rhymes with a rare energy, rivaling even the best veteran MCs of yesterday and today. Klaus Layer is no slouch either when it comes to sound design. Evident by the fact that he has become a fixture amongst some of hip-hop’s best European imports; his records fly off shelves and he can be found frequently performing in smoky Jazz clubs from France to Moscow and beyond. Known for his viral youtube MPC performances and releasing critically acclaimed instrumental albums year after year since his Redef debut in 2013, “Abstractions” is the first Klaus project to exclusively feature a rapper over his sought after sound. Instrumentals are included on the b-side.
To date, both artists have found incredible success respectively that continues to grow (K.A.A.N. notably has recently relocated to Los Angeles but we are not at liberty to disclose any of the prescriptions he’s been writing… *Cough*). On “Abstractions,” K.A.A.N. effortlessly proves why he’s one of the premiere up and coming mc’s adding to his growing back catalog that boasts millions of streams throughout every major online platform. At a time when the world seems to be showing prominent signs of division, it’s a record like this that is an example of how music brings people from all races and all corners of the world together. Despite being separated by the Atlantic across two continents, speaking separate languages and living under different government systems, K.A.A.N. and Klaus Layer’s Abstractions shows no boundaries exist when great minds unit. It’s bigger than hip-hop.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
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