Record Label: Alighting Records
The beats and rhymes that came out of the northern Queens projects in the early- to mid-90s were stark and vibrant, a reflection of their environment. Producers like Marley Marl, Large Professor, and Havoc of Mobb Deep used an extensive knowledge of black music from the late 60’s to the early 80’s to produce new sounds.This is a definite link to the jazz legacy of the African American communities throughout Queens, NY--places like Corona, East Elmhurst, and Saint Albans where Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, John Coltrane, and James Brown all lived at some point in their lives. These producers started with records that perhaps their parents had and used their creative ingenuity with technology to create a fresh sound that still sounds new today: e.g. the Ahmad Jamal sample on Nas’s “The World is Yours,” or Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Part II,” with its electronically modified snippet of Herbie Hancock. This era of hip hop can be viewed as a continuation of the jazz legacy of black Queens.
Lexiglass explores these aspects on their new tape Mobb Phonics, played live on keys and drums. Focusing mainly on Mobb Deep (Queensbridge) but also incorporating other areas of the northern Queens sound from Lefrak City to Corona and even Flushing (Kool G Rap, C-N-N, Large Professor), the band wields a Wurlitzer and minimal drum kit to brutalizing effect while highlighting the jazz and improvisatory roots of the music. These 9 songs are live, instrumental interpretations from the golden era in northern Queens.
Lexiglass has brought raw instrumental hip hop playing to shows at tattoo parlors, sneaker spots, bookshops and lounges across upper Manhattan, with occasional, damaging forays into lower manhattan and Brooklyn. They have improvised performances with the free jazz hero Daniel Carter and the hip hop legend T La Rock. This is the second volume in their all-analog Cubetazo tape series, produced with no overdubs and no computers--just raw live beats on tape.