“Phasin’ Out” has Jalal Salaam firing on all cylinders. Even across his two already impressive mixtapes, Salaam has never sounded this in control of the mic. Over a minimal and moody beat courtesy of LayerFace, Salaam commands the steady ebb and flow of his verse before passing it over to the ever open minded uhlife. Both rappers deliver what we’ve come to expect, Salaam delivering “flip an opponent like an exponent” and uhlife opening with “the universe is growing / supernovas exploding”, while pushing past their past efforts with refined and effortless wordplay. I’m gittin’ square routed and you’re just gittin’ turnt.
I wasn’t familiar with Issue or Perera Elsewhere before listening to their collaboration with Hanz and to be honest I probably will only be listening to more of them if Hanz continues to provide his beats. ”Power is Mine” isn’t so much a rap as it is hypnotically droned mantras over Hanz gorgeous (if not incredibly low in the mix) beat. Even though the vocals of Issue and Perera Elsewhere take over the mix, the track is held together by Hanz’s consistently off and chaotic beat. With hammering drums, decaying drone and jolts of found noise, “Power is Mine” demonstrates just how far Hanz has come in controlling his effortless chaos. What’s most exciting is that Hanz is bound to get a lot more well deserved press for this collaboration and I’m psyched to hear whatever he has coming up next.
It’s beaties, bitch. For those of us too hip for the new Schoolboy Q album, too into the internet for Real Estate and generally uninterested in anything the hooligans over at p4k are listening to, we got a crop of music that we can promise will never be played at a party. Just how we like it. This volume of beaties is brought to you in part by Yung Crock and his fish tank, bine with his chemical drugs, Wopak with a jam that could theoretically one day maaaybe be played in a club, Richie Quake with some casual vibes and BWWWOYS with that post-internet wave shit. Enjoy.
CT homies Ghost Row finally released their debut project with Cadence Collective, and its everything we had hoped it would be. If you’ve listened to Ghost Row’s music before or read PK’s interview with Chef the Chef you know that Color Plus and Chef aren’t too concerned with sticking to trends and are much more interested in carving out their own path within their genre. 800 Diamonds does just that. The beats switch from aggressive in tracks like “Visitor” to incredibly smooth in “Cranberry Octave” and standout “Golden Delicious” without ever succumbing to following trends or sacrificing chemistry. I’ve known for a while that Ghost Row were an especially talented duo and I think 800 Diamonds is by far the best example of this so far. Stream “Golden Delicious” below and stream and download the tape after the jump.
I don’t know if chillwave or bedroom-pop are still dirty words on the blogosphere but it’s really hard to care when Zoo Brother’s newest EP is this blissfully good. Taking a page from TV Girl, Zoo Brother works with short bursts of sampled joy to construct his beats and layers his vocals over the beats for hypnotizingly gorgeous effect. ”Psychic Whatever” speeds up a carnival medley for an off-kilter and dreamy romp that stretches beyond the 4-minute mark. On tracks like “Dreamwalking” and “If I Could (You Would Know)”, Zoo Brother demonstrate that they have evolved to become more than just the bedroom project of William Karmish. While many bedroom projects suffer when making the leap to the live stage, Gemini Girl shows off how ready Zoo Brother are. They’re definitely more than just another TV Girl (seriously, what happened to TV Girl anyway?).
It’s been a little while since we’ve heard a new release from Slam Skillet but his new EP Ecotone gives us plenty for the wait. For me, Slam Skillet has always been an expert at crafting amazing sounds and Ecotone is no exception. Opener “Sable” may be one of the prettiest non-ambient pieces of electronic music you’ve ever heard. Even when he moves into darker alleys on “Rusine”, his tracks never veer away from sounding clean and incredibly well constructed. Although Slam Skillet keeps his tracks sounding mechanical instead of organic, that doesn’t mean he drains his productions of fun. While not straightforwardly danceable, tracks like “Sambar” and “Auroch” demonstrate that he knows a lot more about how to make people grove than he may initially let on. The later half of “Sambar” especially sounds like the soundtrack to some ultra hip rooftop party (which will probably be thrown by The Up-Turn) ten years from now.
Acab Rocky first drew our attention and won our praise with their disgusting EP late last year and they are starting 2014 strong with a new jam that they were kind enough to let us premiere. ”Sara pt. 1″ is a noticeably bold and ambitious track for the young group in the same vein as lo-fi/folk classics such as “The King of Carrot Flowers pts. 2 & 3″. Things start slow, minimal and calm. Singer Sam Wells absolutely commands the mic with just a few plucks of his guitar behind him. By the second minute Wells conjures up a storm, “Sara, you know who I am”. It’s the last remaining moments of calm before Acab Rocky erupts into a full band frenzy. When the last distortion fades following the epic conclusion you’ll have a hard time forgetting about this band.