Of all the artists we’ve featured on The Up-Turn there are probably none that we’ve posted about of been following for longer than parisian producer Nvthlss. As a result I was starting to worry that I’d run out of things to write about him and consequently that his frequent releases were starting to blur together. Then my jaw dropped while listening to “A l’est de la gare” and stayed dropped for the remainder of his newest My paris.EP. With a quick seven tracks all titled in french, My paris.EP reminds me of all that reasons I got so excited about Nvthlss in the first place. It’s a gorgeous listen that should make anyone want to visit the Paris Nvthlss has been so inspired by. Although the US is the hip-hop Mecca, it’s nice to here Nvthlss turn towards his own culture to find inspiration and My paris.EP demonstrates just how unique his sound can be. The thirteen track Lifetime vol 2, continues his lifetime series with jazz-infused beatie goodness. Although I don’t think it achieves the same consistent greatness and My paris, Lifetime vol 2 is more proof of just how dedicated he is to his craft. After a few years I’m finally starting to understand that Nvthlss isn’t driven by a desire to achieve fame but out of a need to express himself through music.
“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.
The godly collaborations between Tuamie and Sidewalk Kal continue with “Cut The Bullshit”. As he demonstrated on his track “Xpansion”, Tuamie is experimenting with new sounds and styles with his production and “Cut The Bullshit” has him moving past the soul-coated loops we’ve come to expect and embracing odder textures and synth sounds. I honestly can’t imagine many other emcees even attempting to rap over a track like this besides Sidewalk Kal and unsurprisingly he drops one of his finest verses yet. Kal was kind enough to include the full set of lyrics in the track description so it’s easier not to get lost in the labyrinthine wordplay that Kal rocks. Although not a word is wasted an early standout has Kal declaring “chopped like a soul break / flex cuz ya soul fake / snowflake niggas don’t invent just appropriate / gods chill in dark rooms smoke and procreate / spoke the golden great / bust a grape while i kiss her nape.” Follow that?
If you’ve been following Color Plus, you’re probably familiar with his distinctive production style; delicately arranging acoustic noises and electronic noises next to each other seamlessly. For Diagonals Vol. 1 Color Plus just applied this production style to a number of different songs for his first remix EP. If you’ve ever wondered what Lil’ Wayne, Soulja Boy, or Gucci Mane would sound like backed by delicate and airy soundscapes, here is your chance. Favorites from the EP include the “Honest” remix, which definitely stands out among the hundreds of other remixes that have been made of it with huge pulsing ambience, and “Bed” which makes “Turn My Swag On” actually sound like waking up. Stream “Honestly” below and the rest of the EP after the jump.