Sunday, May 29, 2011

Soundtrack of Week 21

Saturday, May 28, 2011

R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

                              1949-04-01--2011-05-27

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dirtbag Dan vs. Henry Bowers

Finally here!

Acid Reign - Diversity


Damn! It was a while since an album made me want to party and dance from the second I put it on. But that was the case with Diversity. From the opening track We Do It All I had problems sitting still. The only reason I didn't loose myself too much in the great productions is that I enjoyed the emcees way too much. BeOnd and Gajah are two amazing emcees who can do it all. It doesn't really matter what styles producers like EQ, Nasa and Re4M bring, they kill on every track. And when it comes to guests we got some of the finest from the Project Blowed and the west coast. Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Neila, Myka 9 and Nga Fish is just a few that helps making this a really solid album from beginning to end. And this album features one of the best posse cuts of all time. Just check out Creme De La Blowed and enjoy talent that most people just dream of. Acid Reign never disappoints. So do yourself a favour, go to Uncommon Records bandcamp page and buy it!

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

sole & the Skyrider Band - Hello Cruel World

Video to the title track of sole & the Skyrider Band's upcoming album.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

David Ramos - That Down There


Don't make the mistake of thinking that David Ramos is just the brother of Ceschi. Perhaps Ceschi is the one getting most of the limelight at the moment, but just check the history. These guys have really followed suite for many years through bands like Anonymous Inc, Toca, The Most, Dead by Wednesday and the almighty Knuck Feast. They were also the ones who together started the label Fake Four Inc. that has gone from strength to strength these last few years. Perhaps Ceschi have been more productive, both when it comes to own releases and guest appearences, but let not that fool you. That Down There is a compilation of tracks recorded during a bunch of years. Songs that for one reason or another never got released on either Jesus Taylor Thomas or This Up Here. But unlike most compilations, this sounds like a "real" album in every way. From the intro Start Over, I'm hooked. This album is smoking, to use that old classic term and I can't find one single bad song on it. Everyone is a real treat to listen to. And it's also nice to finally seeing the diss song No Bono released. I know that it might be unfair to mention David's brother this much in a review, but I just have to say it like it is. I love Ceschi and his music to death, but if you ask me David is my favourite out of the two.

Rating: 4/5

Murmur Breeze - Foreshore Reverie


Murmur Breeze. I was going to write that they are amongst Europe's finest at the moment, but to hell with it. They are amongst the finest period. abSUrd and James P Honey have been dropping gems for a couple of years now, and they really are going from strength to strength. Their first album Bird Irony was a favourite when it came out in 2008. And gladly enough they have risen to even higher levels since then. Foreshore Reverie is 19 tracks of the highest quality. It's hard to pick out any specific tracks that stands out since I feel that the album is an album in it's best sense. At the same time as the individual tracks stands strong in themselves, the album as a whole lifts it to another level. I don't know if that makes any sense. It's also refreshing to have a record that isn't diluted with too many guest appearences which is all too common these days. Except for Mildew, jamesreindeer and Babel Fishh guesting we get just what I want, James doing his thing over abSUrd's beautiful creations that is. I can without a doubt say that James P. Honey is one of my favourite emcees and vocalists at the moment. 2011 really should be the year of him, abSUrd and decorative stamp. Do I have to say that I think you should check them out?

Rating: 4.5/5

V/A - Ghetto Tyylit


I'm the first to admit that my knowledge of Finnish hip hop almost equals zero. Except for Ceebrolistics and perhaps Don Johnson Big Band I know nothing. And no, Bomfunk MC's don't really count. Recently however I stumble over some podcasts from the Finnish radio show Ghetto Tyylit and quite a new world opened up. I discoverd gems such as Tonedial with the amazing emcee Minnylee, Dumb and Ameba the Moodman. Recently the tape Ghetto Tyylit dropped and it's filled with good music. Some of it in Finnish, some of it in English. I was happily surprised to discover how much talent there is in the country to the east. All of it is not good, but most of it makes me nod my head with pleasure. The productions are smooth, jazzy and abstract and many of the emcees are coming from the West Coast underground school of flow and most of them are doing it with honors. The only negative thing that I have to mention is that I feel that some of the songs in English perhaps would have sounded better in Finnish due to a poor English accent. But all in all I have to stay, don't sleep on the Finns. They've got a good and upcoming scene that really ought to get some attention.

Rating: 3/5

Soundtrack of Week 20

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tucker & Dale vs Evil

Tucker & Dale vs Evil

Review: I didn't really have any kind of expectations of this movie, other than that it would be kind of crappy. But it wasn't. It was actually quite funny and a perfect day to start of a lazy Friday.

Atari Teenage Riot @ Daytrotter

Time for another treat from Daytrotter.com. This time it's a session from the almighty Atari Teenage Riot. Download here and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adeem - The Volume in the Ground


Ahh! I've been waiting for this one! Adeem will always have a special place in my heart, and every release that he's dropped, either solo or as part of a group, have been real gems that I've listened to a lot through the years. The Volume in the Ground took 5 years to come out, but after the first listen I admit that it was worth it. It's obvious that this have been a labour of love for Adeem, and you can hear it in every part of the album. The lyrics, the awesome productions and the instrumentation. One of the words that pop up in my head when it comes to the sound is earthy. It's blues for the year 2011. It's so refreshing to hear an album that has nothing to do with the latest trends, but that is the beautiful end product of an artist's vision. Forget about Pitchfork for a minute and check out this album. You won't be disappointed.

Rating: 4/5

Tyler, the Creator - Goblin


American Psycho is fiction. Reservoir Dogs is fiction. Tyler, the Creator's lyrics are fiction. There, now we settled that and can move on to talk about the record itself. I guess few people have managed to avoid the hype surrounding Tyler, the Creator and his group OFWGKTA. Very often artists don't really live up to the hype and it all ends up quite disappointing in the end. I don't think Goblin really lives up to the hype, but how could it to be honest? He, and the rest of the group is neither the future of hip hop, nor it's saviours. What they all are however is really talented artists. And Goblin is a good album. It shows Tyler's strengths both as a producer and a storyteller. What I think makes Tyler and OFWGKTA special is that they provide a breath of fresh air in a genre that quite too often seem to stagnate. I don't think that Goblin will be among my favourite albums at the end of the year, but I will listen to it a lot these next few months at least.

Rating: 3.5/5

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Tallest Man on Earth @Trädgår'n

Yesterday was the third time that I had the fortune to see The Tallest Man on Earth live. The first time, in 2009, totally blew me away and is one of my favourite concerts ever. Last year's gig at Debaser in Stockholm was a good show at a completely wrong venue. I've never really been a big fan of Trädgår'n as a venue, but for artists such as TTMOE it's just right. And yes, yesterday's concert was pure magic. We got to see him perform some of his best songs, both solo but also a few backed up by bass and drums as well as a beautiful duet with Idiot Wind. I'm trying to single out some good examples from it all, but I really can't. The whole concert was amazing (apart from the screaming drunk fuck that almost ruined the experience, but got dealt with really nicely by TTMOE himself). One thing that really made this evening was not just the music itself, but TTMOE's personal, shy and charming way to perform which made it to a really intimate evening even though there were about 600 in the crowd. I was going to write something about the opening act Francis, but I think I will leave it. Just one remark. Stop doing indie posing 101. All in all a superb night. Already looking forward to the next time I get to see him. Ending this review with a clip from yesterday. Enjoy.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Soundtrack of Week 19

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz - Heavy Metal Kings


I know some friends of mine who thinks it weird that I like groups such as Jedi Mind Tricks. In some ways I can understand them. I mean, there is a huge leap behind the sounds of them and for example Murmur Breeze, themselves and Ceschi. But the thing that I like about Jedi Mind Tricks is the pure excellent and moody productions of Stoupe and presence, voice and tightness of Vinnie Paz. The later is truly underrated I think, and he's able of combining simple lyrics with lots of meaning and feeling. This album is a collaboration between him and Ill Bill. They have worked together before and we don't get any surprises here. Violence, conspiracy theories and politics all wrapped into a boom bap package. Far from new and exciting, but always with a high level of standard. I like it, but it's not one of the more memorable releases from either of them.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, May 13, 2011

Battles - Gloss Drop


I loved Battles debut album Mirrored. It was a real breath of fresh air when it came out in 2007. Since then the singer Tyondai Braxton left the band to focus on his solo career. I must admit that I wondered what would happen to their sound after that since Braxton seemed to be the man songwriter in the group. Gloss Drop, which is to be released in June, made those fears go away though. Once again are we met with quirky sounds, sunshine and great songs. This time around most of the tracks are instrumental, but that is no let down. Battles still manage to bring good music that are just in the mode of what I want this summer. Check it out when it drops.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles

Battle: Los Angeles

Review: Just another example on how to waste money showing the world the fighting spirit and good heart of good old U.S.A. Expensive crap is another name for it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Big Pauper - Beyond My Means


This is the album that I've been waiting for since 2007. It was around that time that I discovered Big Pauper (then PZ or Panzah Zandahz) as a part of Two Ton Sloth. I loved his productions and felt truly blessed when he made an exclusive outro for my compilation Du Ska Inte Tro Det Blir Sommar. Besides doing music with Two Ton Sloth, he's been doing a lot of remixes and mash-ups. This year it's finally time for his solo debut, and even though it has taken it's time it's well worth the wait. What we get is 40 minutes of dusty sample based, B-movie inspired mayhem that makes you want to shake those hips continuously with a big smile on your face. And you know how I feel about beats, breaks & big smiles. This is one album that might turn up amongst my top 10 at the end of the year. Buy it!

Rating: 4/5

Monday, May 09, 2011

Art & Copy

Art & Copy


Review: Tonight it was time for the one Doug Pray documentary that I had left watching. Art & Copy is about advertising and interviews people behind many of the most groundbreaking campaigns. As always, Doug manages to create something interesting, thoughtful and rewarding to watch. He's probably my favourite documentary director at the moment.

Buck 65 - Paper Airplane

New video from Buck 65's album 20 Odd Years.

Stuart: A Life Backwards

Stuart: A Life Backwards

Review: Stuart: A Life Backwards is based on the book with the same title, written by Alexander Masters. It's a biography of Stuart Shorter, a homeless man with a tragic life from the start. I haven't read the book so I can't really compare them. But I like this movie. Both because of the subject matter, but also because Tom Hardy is brilliant in the role as Stuart. This movie is perhaps not a must-see, but I think it's worth checking out.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two


One thing is certain when it comes to Beastie Boys. No one can do it like they can. They are in a completely own dimension. They have never been the best emcees, far from it to be honest. Their flow and their lyrics are basic to say the least. But none of that really matters. They can make hip hop, hardcore punk, funk and dub better than most people. While for example most hip hop artists try to do reggae they just end up with some plastic, low budget summer version of it. Beastie Boys on the other hand makes dub that would make Lee Perry proud. And by the way, I never really want to call them a hip hop group, it only diminishes what they are. Beastie Boys are artists with a big A period. I know it sounds like I'm a true dick rider, but that's not really the case. The downside to Beastie Boys artistry is that their albums often gets too fragmented. There are too many styles sometimes which makes the listening experience a bit boring in the long run. But there are always something about them that makes me look forward to every single release from the camp. The reason behind that is that even though you somehow know what you will get, it always sounds fresh. And that's what makes them unique. They are the only group who still sound interesting and exciting 30 years after they started! I would dare to say that no one else comes near that. So what about the album itself? It's good, it's funky and the productions are amazing as always. I will however listen to it a lot for about 2 months and then not listen to it much more. But up until then, Make Some Noise, Too Many Rappers (New Reactionaires version), Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win and Lee Majors Come Again will be part of my summer soundtrack for sure.

Rating: 4/5

Soundtrack of Week 18

Friday, May 06, 2011

Interview #11 - Adeem

A Humble Lyricist

Adeem is actually one of the reasons why I started this blog back in 2006. I had a loose idea then that I wanted to write about battle rappers and posts dedicated to my favourite emcees. Unfortunately I only produced one post dedicated to Eyedea (R.I.P.) before I got side-tracked. I was an addict when it came to Scribble Jam, and it was through that I discovered Adeem. Ever since then he's been on my top 10 of favourite emcees of all time. So it is with immense pleasure to present this interview with him.


You’ve been around the scene for many years now, but you still hold a low profile. Would please present yourself to anyone who doesn’t know who you are?

I can't believe I've been around as long as I have. I feel like a rap dinosaur. "Time don't stop even if I ask nicely…" -Siah. For those who don't know, I am Adeem. Say it like A-D-M. I've been rapping since 1989, putting out music since 1999 in some form or fashion. I've spent the majority of my career with my group Glue which also included Maker and djdq. Been making music forever with my homie DJ MF Shalem and also had a stint with MF Shalem and Adverse. We called ourselves The Dorian Three. A lot of people have heard of me through battling in the old days when I was a young pup. If you want to know more you can always hit up www.winnersneversleep.com

To me you will always be one of my favorite battle rappers of all time. Is the battle form still something that interests you, or is that entirely a part of the past?

First off, thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it. Battling will always interest me. It's one of things that has always made hip-hop so interesting. I don't think members of any other genre have that kind of interaction with each other. A long time ago it would actually make or break someone's career. That was wild to me. Hearing KRS-ONE come at MC Shan and then never really hearing from MC Shan again was incredible. It was so powerful. I still try to keep up with what's going on in the scene. It's different though. There are tons of rappers who make a living off battling now because there is such a demand for it. Grind Time has done a great job with that. The only thing that I wish there was more of was rappers still battling over actual beats. Most of the stuff I see nowadays is a cappella and all written. I was always more into cadence and off the top. That was my steez. Regardless, it's nice to watch the scene from afar. Never thought I was that great of a battler. I was in the right place at the right time and I did my best with most of those situations, but I never should be considered one of the best. Although I'm appreciative of anyone who thinks so.

You haven’t released anything for 5 years, how come? What have you been up to these years and what made you ready to release new music this year?

Five years is waaaayyy too long. It's been killing me not to have music out. The major reason was that after Glue released our last album we spent a while trying to figure out what direction to go. We did a couple of songs but nothing as good as we knew we were capable of. Life got busy for all of us and we decided to take a break. That was in 2008. I had also realized that I wanted to pursue a concept I was working on. I had pitched it to Glue, but it really wasn't our thing so I ran with it. 2008 and 2009 were mostly about writing and recording. I got together with a bunch of musicians and producers, had brainstormed for about a year, and then spent all of 2009 recording. I went to Cincinnati for a month or so and mixed the album with Tobe Donohue. I originally had planned on the release being in 2010, but took some extra time to get it mastered and look for the best situation as far as going with a record label or independent. In the end I preferred sticking with myself and my team to do the best job getting this album out. Also, I wanted to get it out in 2011 because the world is going to end in 2012 and I would be really frustrated if the world ended and this album never saw the light of day.

I just recently found out that the group Glue, consisting of you, Maker and djdq, has called it quits. Did you guys feel that you’d accomplished what you set out to do, or what made you make that decision?

That's a good question. For a long time I wasn't satisfied with what we had accomplished. I thought we had a lot of life left in us, especially creatively. I had to really stand back from the situation to appreciate all the things we did. I was always thinking that the next record would be better so it was tough to stop, but it was the right time. I think Catch as Catch can is a great album to end with.

I know a lot of people have been looking forward to a new record from you. Would you mind sharing what we might expect from the album and what people are you working with?

I'm glad people are looking forward to this, I am too. I think you can expect the unexpected. This record is a new direction for me. Rapping is the foundation, it always will be, but the way it's presented is different. There's more singing from myself and from a lot of talented people I got to work with. There are about 12 different stories going on at once. I've never used the word "concept" to describe any of my albums, but it fits with the The Volume in the Ground. It's certainly not linear. It jumps all over the place, so I had to be careful and try to put bookends on both sides of the album to clear up with is going on and use a narrator. I won't get heavy into the details of the concept, I'll let people work it out for themselves or think of something better than what I had originally intended. I love it when that happens. I worked with 20 people all across the country. It was an incredible experience. It's a very long story, but I kept meeting great people who would introduce me to someone they knew and they would add something to the album. It kept going until I finally finished. From the artwork to the music to the concept. It was a group effort in many ways. The producers were DJ MF Shalem, Chadeo (remember that name. incredible producer), Nobs, Maker, djdq, and myself. I had guest vocals from Swamburger and Alexandrah from Solillaquists of Sound, Kaleigh Baker and Sherwin Sleeves. Tons of musicians. Ben Rogers from Moving Pictures and Eric Gagne from Redwing Blackbird.

What inspires you as an artist?

Everything. Almost everything I write is stream of consciousness. I trust myself enough to reshape the things I see and feel into something creative and interesting. We make millions of tiny decisions every day and I try to be tuned into as many as I can. This album was inspired by my ghosts. We all have ghosts and these are the ones that wanted their stories told.

You’ve always come across as a very humble person, both in your music and in interviews. It’s refreshing to have artists like you around, and I want to thank you for doing this. Any finishing words?

Thank you for the compliments and for taking the time. I appreciate the support.

The new album comes out May 17, 2011 The Volume in the Ground.

People can go to www.winnersneversleep.com and sign up for the mailing list and we'll email you a song as a thank you. Until then everyone can hear the song Meet Death with a Handshake here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1Lth6zZQtY&feature=email

Peace.

http://winnersneversleep.com/
http://www.facebook.com/Adeemmusic
http://www.myspace.com/Adeem
http://twitter.com/#!/AdamisAdeem

Thursday, May 05, 2011

sole - I Think I'm Noam Chomsky

Great song from sole. Must say that the quality of his latest videos has been easily dismissed though. There's a fine line between making low budget videos and making cheap looking ones.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

iZombie

Do you want to read a good graphic novel? Check out iZombie by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. I love it!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Infamy

Infamy

Review: Yet another of Doug Pray's documentaries. This time it's Infamy from 2005. It's a documentary about graffiti culture told from the perspective of six writers and one buffer. A really well made movie that shows all sides of being a graffiti writer. If you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend it. Not just for fans of the culture.

Kay the Aquanaut - Waterloo


Saskatoon-based Kay the Aquanaut has been around for many years now. I have to admit however that I have slept on him a bit. I've always liked him, but he has somehow got pushed to the background by his fellow Canadians. 2011 however brings a change. His EP We Sold Our Clothes to the State that came out earlier this year really woke my interest for real. Kay introduced a more mature artist here and more moody and emotional tracks. I knew that the EP was just a build up to Waterloo and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I was supposed to write this review a couple of weeks ago, but somehow was too lazy I guess. But this is an album that really needs to get heard, and written about. Since I first heard it, it's been on more or less constant rotation at home. The combination of Kay's vocals and the productions by one of my favourite producers, zoën, is quite brilliant to be honest. What we get is heartfelt music of the best kind. Some call it hip hop, some call it folk hop or emo rap. I call it really good music.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, May 01, 2011

It's Kind Of a Funny Story

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Review: It's Kind of a Funny Story is based on the novel by Ned Vizzini. It's about a depressed teenager who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital for adults. The book was inspired with Vizzini's own brief hospitalization for depression. It's a good movie. Funny, warm, sad and thoughful. And it's a great cast, especially Zach Galifiankis as Bobby. Don't always like his choice of movies, but when he's good he's really good. The only real downside was the really sappy ending, but hey, it was still worth checking out.

Surfwise

Surfwise

Review: I really like the works of director Doug Pray. He's done great documentaries such as Scratch and Big Rig, and follows that with Surfwise. This is a documentary about 11-member Paskowitz family, also known as the First Family of Surfing. It's a really beautiful, strong and emotional tale that shows both the strength and the weakness in mankind. A strong recommendation!

Soundtrack of Week 17