Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Busdriver - Superhand's Mantra feat. Aesop Rock

I love Busdriver. But I have to be honest and say that from what I've heard so far, his upcoming record Beaus$Eros will be a disappointment to me. As a part of it's pre-order though, you can get a limited edition 7" featuring Aesop Rock. And that song doesn't disappoint. At all. Almost makes me want to order the album just to get the 7".

Monday, January 30, 2012

P.T. Burnem - Ornithopter

I must admit that P.T. Burnem is a quite recent find for me, but one that I'm glad I did discover. He brings something that I too often miss in music nowadays, and his skills combined with an intensity that travels beyond the grooves of the record itself. And listening to Ornithopter makes me,  time and again,  feel that he grabs me by the neck and forces me to follow him on his journey. And what a pleasant journey it is. 8 tracks of beautifully multi layered productions that makes a perfect companion to his urgent delivery and his commanding voice. The only thing I kind of wish listening to it, is that I would like to see him live, because I'm sure that it's then that he's really on top of his game. The record clocks in around 20 minutes and I love it all the more for it. I time and again wish that artists would rather release short well focused records instead of long records trying to show of all that they know. Those records generally end up being tiresome in the long run, while records like Ornithopter stays fresh and relevant with each listen. Check out one of New Hampshire's finest, check out P.T. Burnem. You won't be disappointed.

Rating: 7/10

Sunday, January 29, 2012

AbSUrd - Shadows of Reindeer

Beautiful new video from one of last year's best records. Enjoy the amazing music from AbSUrd and jamesreindeer.

Soundtrack to Week 4

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blindspot - Apart

First time I listened through Apart I quite liked it. The voice of Mr. Feat appealed to me and Dot's productions sounded really tight. After a while however I felt like something was missing. Couldn't really say what it was. Blindspot got talent, there's no doubt about that and tracks like A Single Note, A Second Guess really got my head bopping. But in the end I guess it's what can be said about many records out there. They're good and there's really nothing wrong with them. They just don't feel special in any ways which makes me lose interest quite quickly. And I'm afraid that's the case with Apart. It's a good record, but there will always be other records I'd rather listen to. Harsh perhaps, but honest. Good work though guys.

Rating: 5/10

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nicholas J - One of a Kind

This is one of those records that unfortunately suffers from one thing mainly. It's too long. I'm kind of feeling Nicholas J and what he's trying to do. He's a talented guy, both on the mic and when it comes to productions. I just get a feeling that this would have been better as an EP. Then he could have picked out the best 5-6 tracks and made a really solid record. But since One of a Kind contains 16 tracks it's just feels kind of watered down after a while. Which is sad because I think Nicholas have things to offer, but then he have to find his own style more first and also learn to kill his darlings. The album is available for download here if you want to check it out.

Rating: 4.5/10

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Redlist - Truth in Fuck Minor

These last few months I've been listening more and more to instrumental hip hop. Why? Well, to be honest because most rappers out there bores me to death at the moment. But with that being said, I don't mean that all instrumental records out there are good. Far from it. Like music in general, most of it is crap. That's why records like Truth in Fuck Minor by Redlist are always welcome in my home. Some of you might recognize him as a part of The Scribblenauts, but here's his debut record as a producer. And it's a good one. Clever, well produced tracks that spans over all wide range of moods and sounds. The feeling is a bit on the dirty and grimey side of the spectrum, which complements the melodies very nicely. Lots of eeries syntheziser sounds and deep bass lines makes this a relaxing but at the same time heavy hitting album. A portion of each album sale will benefit charity organizations so please check it out for yourselves.

Rating: 6.5/10

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gel Roc - Why's Are Real

New video from Gel Rock's banging album Beautiful Tragedy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Band of Buriers - Up the Mountain

A truly beautiful video made by Lico for A Band of Buriers track Up the Mountain.

Up The Mountain from Lico on Vimeo.

Monday, January 23, 2012

ALR Elite

I hope you haven't missed one of the best free releases in a while. For fans of Acid Reign, ALR Elite is a must. If you doubt it, check out DJ Ethos medley below. And btw, big up to him for representing D$G in that wicked shirt. Want to get the album? Click here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Soundtrack to Week 3

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

David Ramos - Wait My Turn

Good old David Ramos. He's one of the few artists that I get very excited just by the thought of hearing new music from him. And these last months have been really good to fans of him. First came the superb tape la tua mancanza, and now we can enjoy the free download Wait My Turn. One of the things that I love the most about David's music is that you never quite know what you're going to get, other than that it's going to be really good. And Wait My Turn is just that, very good indeed. At times I feel like David is not as much the brother of Ceschi, but more the lost brother of Yoni and Josiah Wolf. Their sounds very often touch the same area when it comes to melodies and mood. No matter what kind of tracks he produces they always touch me emotionally, and makes me walk around with a smile on my lips dreaming myself away to better places. Music don't really get much better than when it's being made by David Ramos. Dowload the album here.

Rating: 8/10

Monday, January 16, 2012

Backburner - Heatwave

Spanking new video from the Canadian supergroup Backburner. Sit back, relax and enjoy the Heatwave. And if there is any producers out there in the mood for doing a remix of this track, then join the Heatwave remix contest. Submit by February 29, 2012. Submissions will be judged by a representative of Hand'Solo Records and the participating members of Backburner. The winning remix will be announced on HandSoloRecords.com and Backburner.ca as well as included on the upcoming collector's edition vinyl EP of Heatwave, and the producer of the winning remix will receive five copies of this vinyl release. The following four runner up remixes will also be featured on HandSoloRecords.com and Backburner.ca. Additional rules, info and to download the Remix Contest Zip Pack: http://handsolorecords.com/brainonsunrays/.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Soundtrack to Week 2

Thursday, January 12, 2012

David Ramos - Wait My Turn

You don't want to miss this! David Ramos just released Wait My Turn, and it's available as a free download. David is amongst the finest artists out there today, so if you haven't heard him before, take this opportunity to get to know him. If you already know who he is, then I'm surprised that you're reading this instead of downloading! Go to http://davidramos.bandcamp.com/ and spoil yourself with some great music. Review will come.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pigeon John - Before We're Gone

Official video for Pigeon John's track Before We're Gone.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Starving Raptors

Some of you might have heard it already, but now I'll let the rest of you know. A few days ago I joined up with the good people at Starving Raptors to become their guy when it comes to reviews, interviews and other views that require the magic of words. I'm really honored to be asked, and would like to thank Kenn, Jen, Leo and Jake for the opportunity. If you're wondering what Starving Raptors are all about, they are New England's first charity based independent underground hip hop company. Their goal is to work with only the best indie/underground artists, organizing shows to raise money and awareness about social issues. All proceeds from admission, charity related merchandise, and all donations go directly to the event's selected charitable organization. If you want to know more about them, go to their webpage www.starvingraptors.com and check it out.
My goal will be to write reviews for them on a regular basis, but don't you worry. beats, breaks & big smiles 2.0 isn't going anywhere. Today I also made my debut with a review of Wings and Wounds selftitled EP. Click here to read it.

Refused + Coachella = Embarrasing

Anyone who knows me well knows of my obsession with the band Refused. I would say that they probably are my favourite band of all time. Still to this day I'm buying any record that I can get my hand on if any of the members ever had anything to do with it. The group broke up in 1998, and even though I got really sad, I felt that it was the right thing for them to do. They had done everything they could and went out while still being on top. Ever since then there have been a demand for a reunion, something that has been turned down time after time. Today the monster festival Coachella revealed their schedule for this year's festival, and amongst the artists performing: Refused. You might think that I would get happy over these news, but far from it. I got sad and even more so, I got angry. There can be only one reason for this reunion. The almighty dollar. Sure, they will probably say that they're doing it for fun or whatever. I just read on their website that the reason why they're doing this is that:

"We never did "The shape of punk to come" justice back when it came out, too tangled up in petty internal bickering to really focus on the job. And suddenly there's this possibility to do it like it was intended. We wanna do it over, do it right. For the people who've kept the music alive through the years, but also for our own sakes."

But let's face it, they are only doing these gigs because of the pay checks. I admit, they're all struggling musicans that are getting older and have to think about surviving. And that is understandable. Everyone has to eat. But that can't help me feeling that through these gigs, they're are selling out everything that Refused ever stood for. This is a sad day in the history of Refused.

Monday, January 09, 2012

A Band of Buriers - Wide Wings

Time for a new live video from A Band of Buriers. Splendid as always!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

bleubird - CANNONBALL!!!

I remember the first time I heard bleubird. It was back in 2004 when he was opening up for sole at a show in Gothenburg. Even if sole was the only reason why I came, bleubird was the reason that the evening felt worth it. Ever since I've been following him, both as a solo artist, as a part of Les Swashbuckling Napoleons and through his Freeebird videos. It's been quite some years since he released a proper full length on his own, but the wait was definitely worth it. bleubird have joined up with the monster label Fake Four Inc. and let Astronautalis and Radical Face help out with the productions. I was a bit afraid that the choice of producers would make it feel less like a bleubird album and more as a Fake Four Inc. production (and I'm not saying that as a bad thing). But I didn't have to worry. It doesn't really matter who is behind the productions, bleubird always shines. Here he has made a versatile and very personal album that just keeps growing with each listen. Some people may complain that CANNONBALL!!! feels more like a pop album if you compare with records like RIP U$A and Sloppy Doctor, and in many ways they are correct. The productions overall are more mainstream perhaps, but that is not automatically a negative thing. Astronautalis and Radical Face productions compliments bleubird's flow and lyrics perfectly and makes this a truly solid album. Fake Four Inc. is off to a good start of 2012

Rating: 7/10

Soundtrack to Week 1

Friday, January 06, 2012

ESH & Dox - The Invisible EP

Sometimes you just want some straight up boom bap style of hip hop without any tricks or gimmicks. That's where ESH the Monolith & Dox comes in. This 7 track EP feels fresh, down to earth and funky and that's what makes it an enjoyable listen. You don't have to be neither nerdy or gangsta to make good music. Go here to check out the EP for yourself. It's available as either a free download or as a limited edition 10".

Rating: 5/10

Monday, January 02, 2012

Evil Ebenezer - The Birds

New free album from Evil Ebenezer. Get it here.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Iron Solomon - Almost There

Nice to hear a good song from who I consider the best battle rapper out there at the moment. Haven't really felt Iron Solomon's earlier tracks, but this one was much better. Still prefer the battles though...

Wings and Wounds - Boundaries Broken

Here comes the first video from Graves 33 and Sarx new project Wings and Wounds. The self titled EP dropped today. Review coming up.

Soundtrack to Week 52