SEENMR has done a lot of cool things. If you have any doubts just listen through his newest tape Home which is a collection of sounds, ideas and vibes he’s been collecting for over five years now. The tape really kicks off with the over 7 minute stunner “Golden Age” which matches SEENMR’s ability to loop and manipulate obscur samples into gorgeous soundscapes and adds a grandiose sense of scope and ambition. ”Golden Age” also sets the stage for the highly eclectic tape that follows which among other highlights includes a Sun Ra tribute and a noisy and distorted eponymous track. Considering Home has some older tracks on it I’m guessing that he’s releasing it as a way to clear out some of his unreleased material to get ready for his next step in the Young Ho takeover. Get ready.
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 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.
Surp God initially grabbed our attention for his light hearted raps that conveyed a wise beyond his years and a talent for song writing. Although he’s been releasing demos and tracks on soundcloud nonstop for a while, God is definitely the most realized project he’s put out to date. God demonstrates just how much producing know-how Surp has gained with the production taking front stage over his verses. Experimenting with vocal effects and ambient textures, God sounds equal parts influenced by Houston chopped’n'screwed music and cloud rap with Surp rapping in a pitched-down voice if he’s rapping at all. Shifting beating noisy walls of sound and soft, decaying drones, Surp God is working with the kind of experimental sonic pallets that are defining noise-rap groups like Clipping. I definitely wasn’t expecting such radically experimental material on from Surp God and I will definitely keep bumping this on my headphones for a while.
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.
When Ghost Row dropped their Elevator Muzik mixtape earlier this year it was a success in vision of sound and vibe similar to ASAP Rocky’s LIVELOVEA$AP from 2011. It’s not that the two mixtapes share much sonically, however, both mixtapes are a success because they found producer and rapper working together to synthesize a coherent and captivating sound that could have only been possible with both involved parties. Elevator Muzik had Chef the Chef (and occasionally Sidewalk Kal) flowing over beats from future-trap prodigy Color Plus that resulted in several standouts that didn’t require the rappers to demolish the beats as much as to add to their vibes. The reason why Cheap Thrillz is the perfect follow-up is because Chef goes in on every single track on the release. Whether it is a result of Chef becoming more comfortable with his talent or Color Plus’ restrained and heavily acoustic beats forcing the lyrics to the foreground, their is a clear emphasis on Chef as a performer and artist throughout the four tracks on Cheap Thrillz. The new formula proves that Ghost Row have incredible technical skill in both rapping and production as well as in gorgeous conceptualizations and soundscapres (something that people are still rightfully skeptical of ASAP about) and are a group that deserves the title of “Connecticut’s finest”. Stream my favorite track from Cheap Thrillz below and stream the entire mixtape after the jump…
Of all the exciting and experimental hip-hop beat tapes floating around the internet, Bully doesn’t fade into forgettable territory. ’Press Start’ kicks off Bully with some 8-bit sounds that soon get enveloped into a wash of flute orchestration, it’s a novel combination of sounds that really works well. Throughout the rest of the mixtape, KaraKara keeps presenting original ideas and sounds that can sometimes take an Avalanches-like turn towards plunderphonics. What makes the entire listen even more impressive is how the Irish producer managed to throw it all together in one sitting, without the end product sounding rushed or shallow. It definitely makes me really psyched to hear what he could produce if he had a whole month to work on it. Stream ‘Press Start’ and ‘Ex Girlfriends and Blunts’ below and catch the entire mixtape after the jump.