ewonee’s music has always sounded nice but something about this new EP just sounds super nice on headphones. More so than his previous tranquil EP, UN▲TY manages to pack warm, hip-hoppy, jazzy, liquidy audio goodness into bite-sized packaging that defines a sonic palette uniquely ewonee’s. ewonee seems fascinated in jazz for it’s warm textures and dynamism just as much as he is in it’s rhythms and flows. Just listen.
As if the stunning debut Mathematics wasn’t enough, Jalal Salaam has decided to put out a remixed version of the tape. Originally produced by Scanz, “Synergy” was an easy highlight on Mathematics with every line sounding like a statement of purpose from the SUNY Purchase based (yeah another SUNY student) rapper. Producing his own remix, Salaam gives his verse a little more space with more room to air out. The new beat is a gorgeous piece of boom-bap that doesn’t overstate Salaam’s intoxicating flows. Although it honestly sounds like a weird concept to remix a rap tape, I couldn’t be more excited for more Mathematics.
ENxVE is another face in the huge community of talented young artists currently studying at SUNY Purchase who first caught our attention for a great verse over a Yung Gutted beat. On his Heliotherapy mixtape, ENxVe establishes himself as a technically-minded rapper which the charisma to have two personalities. The only features on the album go to Silver Kingfisher which is just a name for the more off-the-cuff and manic ENxVE. On “Davice” the two personalities go in over a boom-bap styled beat from Chef Gold and provide enough reason why ENxVE is another name to watch.
Jamal Smith a.k.a Poptart Pete doesn’t give his beats out to just anyone, so I was definitely expecting something great when I saw that Smith lent one of his beats to Jalal Salaam. Their collaboration “Nocturnal” didn’t instantly jump out at me as jaw dropping, however, it definitely had me interested so I decided to check out Jalal Salaam’s debut mixtape Mathematics. Like “Nocturnal”, Mathematics took a few listens to sink in and I can honestly say that after having spent a good amount of time with this release that it’s one of my favorite hip-hop releases of the year. Jalal Salaam’s world in Mathematics is steeped in psychedelic cosmology, comic books and afrofuturism. He’s definitely on the same vibes as some of our other favorites like uhlife and Shabazz Palaces. Stream my favorite two tracks from Mathematics below and the entire release after the jump.
Angel Haze burst onto the blogosphere earlier this year with one of the most hyped and buzzed rap singles of 2012 with ‘New York’. While we never hopped on the Angel Haze bandwagon, it’s pretty hard to ignore the immense amount of raw and gimmick-less talent coming from the female rapper. While a lot of the praise for the single revolved around the stripped down beat that forced Angel Haze to rely solely on her lyrics to keep the track interesting, King Krule’s rework takes the hand claps and layers them through gorgeous synth chord changes, a boom bap beat and plenty of extra atmospheric brilliance. The result may be less unfiltered than the original but the extra melody and dynamics only adds to the vibe of the track and manages to stay true to the original’s intentions.
AceMo first flew onto my radar for his incredibly ambient, hip-hop tinged beattape A Dream’s Depth. To celebrate his recent score of 500 followers on soundcloud Ace Mo decided to drop a new track ‘Sirocco/Seed’. While Ace Mo hasn’t abandoned the idea of lush, billowing sonic landscapes on the new jam, he isn’t making music to sleep to with ‘Sirocco/Seed’… instead it’s more of something to day dream to. ’Sirocco/Seed’ isn’t afraid to get loud with its cascading melody of synths taking the front stage backed by pulsing drum and bass hits. Ace Mo may not be hanging out in the clouds anymore but ‘Sirocco/Seed’ captures an equally dreamy mood of something like a sun-shower, giving us more reasons to stay indoors and do not much of anything at all.
Let’s be real here, Groundislava, Baths and Ryan Hemsworth are some of our favorite producers doing it right now so the fact alone that the three creative powerhouses could cross paths is enough to warrant an overload hipster giddiness. ’Suicide Mission’ was the lead single from Groundislava’s Feel MeLP and the collaboration found Groundislava and Baths synthesizing with some of the most beautifully hypnotic electronic music all year. For his remix, Ryan Hemsworth takes the song and pours the track through his kaleidoscopic strainer and turns the whimsy level up to 1 with some pixie-dust sprinkled synths and a progressively enveloping beat. Instead of trying to improve upon the original’s framework, Hemsworth’s remix completely hijacks the track using Baths’ vocals as more of an accent than as the centerpiece.