Princess Nokia – aka New York rapper Destiny Frasqueri – has been releasing music via Youtube and Soundcloud since she was in High School, and slowly bubbling up on the internet, garnering a rabid fanbase. Last year, with the self-release of her 1992 mixtape, she catapulted herself to the next level, solidifying her position as one to watch. Since its release, she’s toured the world over, selling out various venues across the globe in mere days, and racked up literally millions of views/listens on her tracks. She is not only a brilliant rapper & lyricist but a feminist icon who is unapologetically herself, and aligns equally with the values of punk rock and riot grrl, ‘90s R&B, and the best of forward-thinking hip-hop. This is powerful, passionate, outspoken, vibrant modern music with deep roots in both NYC and rap history.
Atrocity Exhibition is one of the freshest and boldest-sounding rap albums in recent memory, a sonic swirl inspired by the work of Talking Heads and Joy Division that nonetheless sounds like nothing else from the past or present. Featuring contributions from producers like Evian Christ, Petite Noir (who also lends vocals to the world-weary clang of “Rolling Stone”), Black Milk, the Alchemist and frequent collaborator Paul White, the album is full of laser-beam guitars, gym-teacher whistles, creaking vocal samples, and air-raid drones. It is the most intriguing take on hallucinatory rap since the heady heights of Cold Vein or Madvillainy.
Known for his wide range of collaborations, including everyone from Purity Ring, the Avalanches and Rustie to Schoolboy Q, E-40, and Ghostface Killah, Atrocity Exhibition sees a continuation of this carefully curated mix. Kelela lends her snaking vocals to the intriguingly murky “From the Ground,” Cypress Hill’s B-Real delivers “Get Hi”’s languid hook, and Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar, and Ab-Soul all convene for the twinkling ominousness of album standout “Really Doe.” “When XXX came out, all of us were peers, and those were the three rappers who were the best,” Brown explains on having the star-packed trio appear on the track. “I felt like we were competitors, they made me want to step my game up. I wanted to put the hottest rappers in the game on there.”
This album is a highly personal take on Brown’s ruminations on life and the changes that have occurred -and those that didn’t – following the ups and downs of career success. Atrocity Exhibition makes for a thrilling third installment in the Danny Brown biopic, one not to be missed.
Marking this as his debut on Tri Angle, DAZE is actually the third in a series of wildly ambitious and confounding albums Brood Ma has put his name to in the last few years, generating a good deal of intrigue and acclaim along the way. His first release ‘FISSION’ turned heads with its juddering, noisy take on EBM, while the follow up, ‘Populous’ (reissued in 2014 by pioneering dubstep label Hemlock), signaled for many the arrival of a genuinely unique and intriguing talent, bolstered also by his affiliations with the endlessly fascinating and undeniably forward thinking Quantum Natives collective. Which brings us to DAZE. By stripping back on some of the beat-suffocating distortion that defined some of his earlier work and by zeroing in on some of the more disorienting side effects of immersing oneself in trance and hardcore styles, Brood Ma has made his most radically club-oriented release to date. DAZE is a direct byproduct of Brood Ma’s ongoing interest in dissecting how (and why) we build virtual worlds and an obsession with the high-definition sound design techniques most often used in trailers for Hollywood blockbusters and video games. These are the sounds of death and destruction, stripped of their grisly truths and molded into plastic or mechanical shapes. DAZE is a dizzying and exhilarating soundtrack to dystopia and a violent virtual world that is becoming increasingly harder to separate from our own realities.
2015 CSD title
Heritage meets technicality on Vancouver, British Columbia-based rapper Young Braised’s second 1080p release “Northern Reflections”, a 36-minute meditation of Pacific Northwest-inspired hip-hop where his distinct new sincerity floats through languid, abstracted productions from West Coast collaborators Karmelloz and a i r s p o r t s.
These calmer, more liquid euphorias run with the same optimism and oblique lyrical imagery as the previously blown-out cloud zones of last year’s “Japanese Tendencies”, though similarly saturated and melodic. Splitting time between humour and tenderness and placing emphasis on the incorporation of artistic techniques (most notable in his live performances with fiance Soledad Muñoz) in favor of non-traditional rap tropes, Braised furthers his lucid, hybridized and genre-blending practice.
After temporary residencies in New York and Montreal last Winter, the collection of work features over a year’s worth of recordings from an artist with a constantly evolving practice and renewed appreciation for the West Coast life. A life that continues to evolve as well with his recent engagement, humble return to the post-secondary, and strengthened connection to the house/techno scene of Vancouver’s after hours.
Exploring notions of masculinity, complicity, and food, navigating landscapes against Vancouver’s glassy skyline and neighbouring mountain ranges, Braised’s (real name Jaymes Bowman) quietly existential musings come paired with submerged textures and vaporized synth drifts. “Northern Reflections” is yet another instance of both collaboration and self-informing exercise. Super real and equal parts research and entertainment, this Christmas Day release is a gift not only to his listeners but to Young Braised himself.
Cassette edition features bonus physical-only tracks “Still Tippin 2014 (F. Strawberry Jacuzzi)” and “Outside the Club (Freestyle)”.
Foundational Memphis rap on vinyl for the first time, thanks to LA Club Resource!
Lil NoiD’s 1995 album Paranoid Funk. NoiD was discovered by Juicy J in the early ’90s, and the Blackout-produced tape proved influential in the Memphis rap scene.
yessir. underground hip hop mixtape realness.
New Delroy Edwards mixtape of hip hop influenced beat action!
MF DOOM’s cassette edition of OPERATION DOOMSDAY, a metal box set containing two cassettes: Tape 1, the original album and original cover by Lord Scotch 79 (Blake “KEO” Lethem) on the first tape; Tape 2, the instrumentals, b-sides and alternate versions, along with the 2011 album cover by Jason Jagel.
Delroy Edwards has shared a 20-minute mixtape of “exclusive remixes and instrumentals”.
Slowed Down Funk Vol. 1 takes its cues from the chopped and screwed sound invented by Houston’s DJ Screw, with syrup-laced vocals, crusty bass vibrations and G-funk squeals rolling along at a groggy tempo.
An art-funk ensemble from the South Bronx in New York, ESG was formed by four sisters: Deborah Scroggins (bass, vocals), Maria Scroggins (congas, vocals), Renee Scroggins (guitar, vocals), Valerie Scroggins (drums), and friend Leroy Glover (bass). ESG have been influential in a wide range of musical genres, including hip hop, post punk, disco, and dance-punk. Their music is centered round the sisters’ complex polyrhythms, with atmosphere supplied by bass and pop-flavored guitar.
Fire Records are delighted to be releasing a deluxe 3xLP box set complete collection on coloured vinyl echoing their signature colours green, yellow and blue.
Music from the young Joshua Leary has been sporadic since he emerged on a wave of YouTube hype at the tail end of 2011, with only the Kings and Them mixtape and this year’s one-sided Duga-3release on Record Store Day, but given he received a production credit on Kanye West’s Yeezus album last year his relative silence can be forgiven. As such the Waterfall EP represents perhaps Leary’s first proper release, and it shows that he has come a long way since the early days of his career. Containing four tracks that bridge the gap between jungle, hip hop and ambient music, Waterfall is both delicate and savage in equal measure, especially on the closing title track, where plaintive piano and semi-automatic snares collide to thrilling effect.
Powell’s Diagonal imprint continues to gather pace, this time releasing debut LP ‘Ghost Among The Crew’ from fabled ‘80s New York electro/rap collective Death Comet Crew. Comprised of Nick Taylor of Gray, Stuart Arabright and Michael Diekmann of Ike Yard and Shinichi Shimokawa (Black Rain), Death Comet Crew digests a wide scope of hip-hop, post-punk, jazz and electro to create their unique soundtrack to urban decay. Often challenging and stark, it is hoped that ‘Ghost Among The Crew’ marks a new life for this intriguing collective