After a few strong singles from Hawk House I’ve been eagerly anticipating how the three piece would approach a proper release. A Little More Elbow Room has absolutely surpassed my expectations with a stunning release of r&b infused hip-hop. The beats throughout A Little Elbow Room stick to down-tempo and jazzy troupes without ever adhering directly to norms of boom-bap, cloud-rap or any of the other buzzing beat styles that have been floating around the blogosphere lately. Instead, the real focus of this release is on their dynamic vocals that bounce between group chants, crooning and rapping. Their lyrics manage to evoke great imagery that usually focuses on their 21st UK lifestyles. I know most people are buzzing over Chance the Rapper’s new tape, but take some time and check out Hawk House.
It’s been a long wait since we last heard from them but we still haven’t forgotten about the captivating sounds coming from UK trio A Yellow Man. They’ve finally ended the silent drought with an official name change to Hawk House and this new video for “Tidal Tendencies”. Like their early standout “3000 Miles of Youth”, “Tidal Tendencies” is a downtempo stunner that operates under a less is more ethos. For three gorgeously steady minutes, the trio take turns laying out deceptively casual verses rounded out by an r&b closer. Hawk House are combining hip-hop and r&b in ways similar to fellow UK natives Young Fathers and I couldn’t be more excited for more music from both groups as 2013 continues.
It’s not everyday that we run across an artist like Sean Cullen, the dude behind SEENMR and founding member of the Young Ho Collective. Sean Cullen is so psyched on music, life and his crew that his personality beams through his recordings and has made his Chinatown Tape one of the most buzz-worthy beat tapes of the year. I had a chance to chat with SEENMR and the bulk of that conversation has been formated for your reading pleasure after the jump. Being the cool dude that he is, Sean also threw together an awesome mix that I highly recommend you listen to while reading this philosophic conversation. Get ready for the Young Ho revolution.
It’s been far too long since we’ve gotten new Young Fathers, but I can’t really blame them for not putting out much since ya know they’ve been busy blowing up and signing to Anticon and stuff. ”I Heard” is their newest taste of the long awaited Tape 2 and it has the group focusing heavier on the R&B and pop roots (the dudes apparently were once a boy band) than their hip-hop tastes. The Young Fathers signature dark atmosphere is still heavily intact turning what could be an uplifting track into a smokier, emotional, tramp’s anthem. We still get a rapped verse of sorts but the imagery and delivery of the lyrics sound more like spoken word. Look out for Tape 2 on June 11.
The former beaties submitter turned beaties sensei Atu is maturing his sound and songwriting talent. Although he’s always had a knack for making sensual, sample-based music, Atu’s latest track featuring Sango is the most realized track he’s made yet. Moving beyond samples and employing the live singing of Sango, “the duo” has Atu experimenting with 2-step, r&b and bass music in a resulting track that is distinctively his own. The track is the first single from his upcoming release Pictures of Silence drops next week.
If you haven’t seen already, soundcloud went through a massive update earlier this week and while most people were pouting about it on twitter and stumbling to get a grasp of the new layout we were taking advantage of the new features to dive deeper into the beatie underground. Although at times we were disoriented and felt that we may have dived too deep, the newest volume is certified fresh, top-notch, hip and pretty damn good (if I say so myself). This volume includes a Daft Punk-esque banger from Two Moons, a jazzy guitar piece from sw◊n, blissfully distorted boom-bap from Koffee, an analog bumper from Jonwayne and a crystalline stunner from eyeofzion. Hit ‘em after the jump.
On his soundcloud page, Portugese producer Mr. Herbert Quain is described as born from “…a state where we will remember the future and we will ignore, or hardly have a presentiment of, the past.” To be completely honest, I have no idea what that means. However, listening to Quain’s There’s no way not to go back Mix, that description seems to somehow make sense. Pulling on material from as early as 1959 to some that aren’t even released yet, Mr. Herbert Quain has created a mix of songs and genres that manage to sound both nostalgic and forward looking, most of the time simultaneously (an impressive feat that also pervaded his recent EP). Mr. Herbert Quain is still a young producer discovering his sound and this mix serves as a road map for all his influences. Stream the entire mix below and check out a mini-interview and tracklist after the jump.