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The Up-Turn

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Author Archives: tccarr14

I don’t know if you read the novel Ender’s Game when you were a kid, but I sure as hell did, which is why I had to listen to this when I saw it.  Luckily M|O|D member Trap Arnold made a track that is just as awesome as the book was.  With “EndersGame” Trap Arnold has done a great job of maintaining his distinct Future Trap style with rolling high hats etc. without drawing too much attention away from the song’s beautifully spacious chords and delicate melodies.  If I were ever to be floating in space, controlling a giant army with my brain, I would want this song to be playing in the background.

-TC

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In one of my recent trances where black out for an extended period of time and end up finding many awesome tracks by awesome artists on my favorites list on Soundcloud with no recollection of how they got there, I stumbled across Chicago rapper Sidewalk Kal and his work with New York producer Mattron and had to share.  Although, it’s a huge party foul in the hip-hop community, I’m going to compare their work to Illmatic because to me the comparison came to mind right away.  Sidewalk Kal has a smooth, gimmick-less flow with wise beyond his years lyrics that remind me of Nas, and Mattron’s boom-bap beats remind me of the beats Nas collected for Illmatic (especially DJ Premier and Pete Rock’s) with an added hint of the modern abstract element of hip-hop popularized by beat makers like Madlib.  I don’t know too much about either Sidewalk Kal or Mattron, but I think their music speaks for itself, so listen below and link to their individual Soundcloud pages below that.

-TC

SIDEWALK KAL’S SOUNDCLOUD PAGE

MATTRON’S SOUNDCLOUD PAGE

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When Jamie Foxx was making the pre-YOLO blackout anthem “Blame It”, I doubt he was intending it to have anything close to a personal, introverted vibe.  Fortunately, we have Groundislava to change it into that for us.  By pitching down the vocals a little bit, and creating a new understated back drop with simple production and beautiful melodies, Groundislava has turned every drunk girl of 2009’s favorite song into a beautifully dark and solemn ode.  If you haven’t yet wised up to Groundislava or WEDIDIT Collective (which includes Groundislava, Earnest Blount, Shlohmo, RL Grime, and Jonwayne among others) you are missing out on some of the best electronic music you will find in 2012.

-TC

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Future Trap is a very interesting idea.  It’s easy to dismiss a bunch of young producers who most likely belong to the middle-class trying to breathe new unique life into a genre born out of dangerous Southern slums and crime culture as a soon-to-pass “hipster trend”.  Although this may be true, I think the young genre has more merit and value to it than that.  Future Trap producers like C.Z. or Lil’ Texas are taking the rolling hi-hats, and more importantly the extremely high energy style of Trap music like Waka Flocka and introducing the synths, intricacies, and extreme attention to detail of electronic genres such as House and Bass Music to it, and I don’t see anything wrong with that at all.  C.Z. is one of my favorite Future Trap producers right now.  His aggressive behavior-inducing remix of Ace Hood and Rick Ross’ trap anthem “Realist Livin'” is simple yet energy filled and showcases an intricately and incredibly produced drum track, and his song “Wheezin Ed” shows how beautifully Trap beats and James Blake-esque synths can blend together.  Below you can stream C.Z.’s “Realist Livin'” remix and “Wheezin Ed” and link to his Soundcloud page below that…

-TC

C.Z.’S SOUNDCLOUD PAGE

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Although there are many great producers and instrumental makers scattered around soundcloud, good rappers tend to be few and far between.  Luckily, I had the pleasure of stumbling over MapleSyrup’s music the other day.  Maple is an 18 year old rapper who relies very little on image (the only ones you can really find associated with him on the internet are mostly Dragon Ball Z screen shots) and very much on musical content.  Although MapleSyrup is definitely formidable on the mic, one of his talents that stands out the most to me is his ear for beats.  His sporadic soundcloud releases have beats from some awesome underground beat-makers (especially “This Song Is a Sandwich”), and on his mixtape SURP he collects beats from artists ranging from Clipse to Baths and Emay.  In the social networking age where half of a rapper’s potential is determined by internet presence, MapleSyrup is a well-needed breath of fresh air.  Stream “This Song Is a Sandwich” below and his mixtape SURP below that.

-TC

When TV Girl stormed the blog scene with their fantastic first single “If You Want It”, it seemed like a song the San Diego outfit would never be able to live up to.  Fortunately, TV Girl have stuck with it and have become one of my favorite and most consistent bands.  All of their EP‘s and Singles have maintained the same qualities that made “If You Want It” great while still always bringing fresh new qualities to their music.  Now they have finally dropped their first full length project in the form of a mixtape released on Heems’ record label, Greedhead, and the result is just as awesome as I had hoped. The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle will make a perfect soundtrack for all the barbeques and shenanigans we all hope to get into this summer, so download and sync to your iPod right away because you never know when it will come in handy, although it will probably be quite frequently.

-TC

DOWNLOAD “THE WILD, THE INNOCENT, THE TV SHUFFLE VIA STEREOGUM

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Robb Bank$’s debut mixtape Calendars was a strong showing, but also set up a lot of barriers for him to overcome.  With tumblr being the primary medium of Bank$’s climb to internet pseudo-fame, all of his Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z references, and the two Clams Casino beats it was easy to overlook Robb’s skill and talent and listen to Calendars as a tumblr page in audio form.  The thing is, Robb Bank$ is actually much more than that.  He has an almost seamless flow, the intangible necessities of being a rapper, good lyrics, and a silky smooth and distinctive voice all at the ripe age of 17.  Now Bank$ is finally back with a fantastic original Spaceghostpurrp beat (who’s talent can also overshadowed by image) for a single that tears most of his previous catalog apart.  Robb Bank$ is clearly heavily instilled with current youth culture, which can make it difficult to take him seriously, but I hope with tracks like this people will see that he actually has a huge amount of talent and potential for longevity as well.

UPDATE: Stream and download the full almost 6 minute long song below.

-TC

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