Friday, June 29, 2012

A Band of Buriers - Filth

These last 2 months have been really good when it comes to record releases. We've been blessed with amazing records from people like El-P, Bigg Jus, The Tallest Man on Earth and David Ramos amongst others. And now one of the albums I've been looking forward to the most this year is about to drop. A Band of Buriers self titled release from last year was without a doubt my favourite album of the entire year, and it's still a record I listen to regularly. James P Honey and Jamie Romain's unique blend of pop, underground hip hop and avantgardic classical soundscapes completely blew me away the first time I heard it, and it was with great expectations that I sat down the other day to listen to the follow up, Filth
14 tracks clocking in at just about 52 minutes, and every minute is one of pure beauty. Honey's thoughtful poetry and observations are as fine as always and Romain is the backbone that really sets ABOB aside from the rest. I can't find a single bad song on the entire album. I must admit that I'm not as blown away this time around though, but that's not these guys fault. When I heard their debut I had never heard anything like it and it was all an amazing discovery, while I'm now very familiar with their sound. That being said, with songs like Slides By, Stuffing A Chest With Twigs, Silver Turnstiles and F.Breavman you can never really go wrong. A truly gorgeous piece of art. Must mention on a side note though, that I did prefer the live video versions of both Slides By and Stuffing A Chest With Twigs.
The album is available from decorative stamp on July 10th and I urge you to pick up a copy and give yourself a beautiful soundtrack for the rest of the summer.
Rating: 8.5/10

Thursday, June 28, 2012

WHY? - Sod in the Seed

Finally a brand new track from WHY? and it shows that Yoni and the guys are in good form. The song is taken from the EP Sod in the Seed that is to drop in August. Click here to check out the new song.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Reviews of Brzowski & Monsieur Saï - Songs for Marty

Jessika's review: 
Hm … ever since Michael kindly introduced me to Brzowski I have to admit I have had a little crush on this man. My expectations were way high when I eagerly started to listen to this collaboration of two, as I have heard, fine artists. And yes they sure did give me a lot to think about.
These two guys are amazing at what they do. Even if I can´t understand most of what Monsieur Saï is saying, he still puts me in a good place and Brzowski makes me smile only by opening his mouth. I just love his brave lovingly sourness towards life and humanity.
I am still not sure about these two doing their thing together though. It might be the fact that I had my expectations up too high on Brzowski and I wanted to hear him do what he usually does, or the fact that I had no expectations what so ever on Monsieur Saï because this was the very first time I have ever heard of him. Either way I liked what they were doing, both of them, but put together they started to feel disturbing and uneven after a while.  
I did enjoy my listening, but unfortunately it did not last for long.  But I´m very happy to say that it made me want to look into Monsieur Saï's earlier stuff, and of course keep listening to Brzowski because they sure know how to let the love for what they are doing shine through.

Michael's review: 
Brzowski and Monsieur Saï. That's one really interesting collaboration. Well, at least on paper. This record is a bit of a case of hit and miss if you ask me. Why? Well, I will try to explain. I'm a huge fan of Brzowski and he doesn't disappoint here either. His rough vocals is on point as always, and it's hard for him to put a foot wrong. Monsieur Saï is a bit of a new discovery for me, but his performance here on Songs for Marty really sounds quite promising, and I quite like his flow. 
So what's the downside then? These two guys together perhaps? No, I think that they compliment each other more than I had thought, and they form a really nice team on the microphone. The problem with Songs for Marty is the productions. They are very weak, and don't go well together with the emcees at all. When you're listening to Brzowski for example you want some weight and some deep down grittiness to the music. But those kind of beats are nowhere to be found here I'm afraid. Too bad, because I feel that this album could have been really nice with the right components. But then again, you can't win every time.
Jessika's rating: 6/10
Michael's rating: 5/10

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Starving Raptors

As some of you might know, I joined up with Starving Raptors at the beginning of this year to regularly contribute with reviews etc. As much as I love those guys, I now have to say that I'm leaving them. The reason behind this are things beyond my control and I therefor choose to step back entirely as a part of the team. I might however from time to time freelance with a review or two, but nothing is decided so far. Just wanted to take this time out to say thank you to Jen, Kenn, Leo and Jake for this time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

prison soup - prison soup

Ahh! The feeling when the opening track, Safehaven at a Slant, comes over my headphones is one of pure beauty. The combination of Jamie Romain's cello driven production and the vocals from EVAK and babel fishh is truly a match made in heaven. And the album don't get any worse after that. Both emcees are amongst my favourite ones and hearing a whole album with them is more or less a dream come true. There's nothing that even comes close to being radio friendly here. Noise, drones and field recordings combined with distorted drums and guitars forms an amazing backdrop to these two fire spitters.
It's 9 tracks of fuel pumped riveting alt-rap at it's absolute best. You might think that all of this is enough to make me rock a quite definite boner, but then I have left out the best part of the album. On the closing track Wounded Workhorse, the guys are joined by the amazing perseph one, and she completely blows me out of the water. There's someone we want decorative stamp to snatch up to do an entire album real soon! Please do yourself a favour and pick up this limited cassette release by going here. You won't be sorry!
Rating: 8/10

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Soundtrack to Week 25

Friday, June 22, 2012

variex. - The Glass Swan Project - Anti-Love Songs for Lovers

I've been looking forward to this album ever since the first time I heard about it. variex. is definitely one of my favourite unsung artists out there. He's not only a really good emcee and text writer, but he's also a very good producer that makes beats that most people out there would be proud to put their names to. I first heard of him back in 2009 when he dropped his album Observations From Across the Room, and I've been following his development closely ever since. He's truly gone from strength to strength and his latest album The Glass Swan Project - Anti-Love Songs for Lovers is just as beautiful as I had hoped. We are getting treated to 13 amazing songs. For each listen the album grows, and you find more and more favourite tracks. As if all this wasn't enough, he's joined on a few tracks by old favourites such as Ceschi, Brad Hamers and otem rellik. And even with great names like that onboard, he still shines the most on his own and shows that the best artists sometimes are found deep underground (and I'm not talking about 2Pac).
Rating: 7.5/10

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mad Gregs - Relatives

The music industry is a strange world, we all know that. But music listeners are also quite hard to understand sometimes. What makes people pick up a certain record and not another? Well, one part of the answer could be availability, promotion and word of mouth. I kind of hope that the answer lays there within, and not that some artists are getting slept on just because they might not be as cool and trendy as others. Because a band such as Mad Gregs deserves way better than that. 
Ever since their first album Big Nun dropped on Fake Four Inc. back in 2008, I have been surprised how few people have talked about them. Sure, they are not doing cool, experimental leftfield hip hop. They don't fill their albums with hot and trendy guest artists on every track either. What they do however is produce willful indie pop that moves between the sweetest of the sweet to the more dark and moody. But through out it all we are getting served some of the best pop melodies around, and it's a crying shame that people are missing out on this. 
Do yourself a favour. Drop your sense of what might or might not be cool for just one minute, and let yourself enjoy some great tracks. Isn't that what music is all about after all?
Rating: 7/10

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chryso - Demons Run

I have start off by saying that I really like Demons Run. The productions are just the kind that makes my head nod uncontrollable. Dirty, funky and melodious at the same time. And throughout the album we get to enjoy fine lyricists such as Misanthrop, Qwer, jamesreindeer, Noah23 and Aas der Basis
As you might have guessed though by my opening, something negative is about to come up. Well, it's not really anything negative, it's more of a personal reflection. I think I would have prefered to listen to this as an entirely instrumental record because I think that the class of the productions are that good. And while the emcees are all doing a good job, I get the feeling of a compilation rather than the album of one artist. Sometimes albums like this can work perfectly in that way, but there is something about this that makes it feel too fragmented, and I think the guest vocalists have something to do with it. But let's not get all down and grumpy. Most artists would be proud of an album like this, and so should Chryso. postrap is the place for great music at the moment it seems. 
Just have to end with something that probably will annoy some people though, but dear underground hip hop artists, please don't think that cover art by Albane gives your album a feeling of freshness. As talented as she is, there is such a thing as things feeling worn out, and having her make your cover is one of them.
Rating: 6.5/10

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Soundtrack to Week 24

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Andrew Milicia - ENDERS

Andrew Milicia is the latest addition to the Fameless Fam collective. I must say that I'm impressed finding out that this is his debut record because the quality of both the rhymes and the beats, as well as the high consistency through out all 20 songs. The only negative thing I might think of when listening to it is that there is nothing extra ordinary about it, no song that truly blows me away. But those tracks and records are rare anyway, and Andrew should be very proud of this album, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from him in the future. 
Rating: 6.5/10

Friday, June 15, 2012

mcenroe - Hello World!

If you have a couple of minutes to spare, I think you should give the new EP from mcenroe a listen. Clocking in on a little more than 15 minutes, this new release from the veteran emcee shows that he's one of the more under rated artists out there and he deserves to get heard more. So enjoy this little Canadian gem, and have a great weekend!
Rating: 5.5/10

soda - mehr

German producer and emcee soda has been around for quite a while, but I have to admit that I haven't really listened too much to his music before. So when his album mehr now arrived I didn't know quite what to expect. I must say however that I was very pleasantly surprised. 15 tracks of amazing productions laced with a stable and captivating flow. As always when it comes to lyrics in languages that I don't understand, it's hard to really say anything too much about the content of the songs. But on albums such as mehr you don't really need to. The whole atmosphere it provides creates a beautiful soundtrack that cross all language barriers and is a good reminder that great art knows no boundaries. Do yourself a favour and check this one out, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Rating: 7/10

Fake Four, Inc. A Record Label Sampler Volume 4

Finally it's time for a new record sampler from Fake Four Inc. and as usual, it's all free and lovely! Go here to download it, and while you're doing that, watch this new video from Sixo featuring LEIF(kolt). Enjoy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

jamesreindeer - helicopter gunships (a capella)

Ladies and gentlemen: james reindeer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Interview #19 - EVAK

One Step Ahead of the Devil


In a world where real talent are slept on way too often, we should all do what we can to focus on the genuine artists out there.  People like EVAK from Texas. An amazing emcee and one hell of a guy.

So, who is EVAK? Could you give us some background regarding who you are and your present life?
Hahaa shit,! My name is Flynn, I am just a die hard working class father and a regular style husky-bodied, overly bitter, slightly aged Texas rap dude.  
Honestly, I get to make music with my friends, I have two steady jobs, I have wonderful people in my life, there is a collective consciousness is good right now.
As far as background..
I just recently, uncovered a tape of Task and I freestyling, into headphones over The Nonce and I believe I over heard my former self say, “live from the 95 spot’’ too many times to mention. I was possibly draped in some GroupHome/Smif-n-Wessun type camo overalls. It also may not have even been 1995. I can say for certain that it is entirely too painful to listen and if given the opportunity to use a time machine just once, I would go back to that exact moment and steal myself in the mouth.
What are your influences and inspiration in music and in life?
So many things! My Mom.. for always standing up for what is right and just, no matter the consequence..and for beasting through life in the midst of shitstorms..and she has seen some of the worst! The whole family is amazing..My son, Liam for just being the raddest kid on earth and for his extensive knowledge of underground hip hop and Walter Payton’s stats. Samantha, for being a hard working wonderful woman and loving the shit outta me. The changes going on around the world, the solidarity. Derrick Broze of the Houston Freethinkers for his constant commitment to empowering people, as a whole..and striving for a common good. Task, Raj, edison, babel fishh for being incredible spitters and ridiculous beat wizards and making me look like a one trick pony. Scott Huber being a chew union workhorse.. damn everything is inspiring. Galveston County is far as music. I am extra smitten with music lately. Anything and everything, thanks to DJ 2AM!!.. Minutemen, Cliff Brown, Scarface, The Pogues, Megabusive, Maestro Gamin, Restiform Bodies, James fuckin' Reindeer, GeorgeJones, Woody Guthrie, Gatemouth Brown, Niyat, Tommy Wright, Thin Lizzy, mass graves,
Would you mind sharing your creative process with us?
Jameson & Ice, books open everywhere, playing music loud, writing on everything, scanning over everything. I like seeing the written and printed word, I like when they look amazing as a whole..if you ever look at the lyrics for Aesop Rock’s One Brick, Illogic’s verse is gorgeous. Or the lyrics for Invetro., I actually roll out daily with the lyric sheet from fishh’s A Guild We Hold Close. 
What are you aims with your music?                                                                                           Become a better dude, a better writer, make my son proud.  
How important is the subject matter when you write, and can you tell us something about your writing process?
I think subject matter is very important, but I think intent, is more so. Its what gives each letter, each word, every sentence life. And the manner in which you come to cover the subject or topic, does not need to hold to any formula or standards. I just write on anything and everything, it can't wait.

One of last year’s best records if you ask me was Six Pack O’Death that you made together with edison. How did that come about?
Shucks dude, thank you! That’s humbling! Well , Nic sent me the beats, exactly as they sit on the album. The way it was put together, intentional or otherwise, was just perfect! I felt like the third song, 02, was the chorus for the whole album, and I kind of just recorded based on that..and then Nic chewed the fuck out of a verse..and that was that..oh edison raps too, and he is fucking nasty
What can we expect from you this year? I’ve heard rumours of a release on I Had an Accident Records. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Fuck yesss! IHAA records is putting out the new WORK album on cassette. Also fishh and I are releasing Prison Soup on decorative stamp this month. And my solo r&b album by the end of the year..hopefully finishing up some more stuff with D’ology, Snap, Synato Watts, Haez, Chief and Davey Maybe, respectively
667. Can you expand on what that is for the people not in the know?
To quote Raekwon, “ don’t believe in heaven, cause ya living in hell”!!! and since I have been fighting to shake this stigma since wearing my first Natas shirt back in 8th grade, no we don’t worship the devil. Just hard working regular dudes arming letters, painting pictures, punching clocks, chewing etc.
For reference materials.. the Non, Inner Dialogue, Lewee Regal, Sam the Tan, Kitchen Kuts, Creature, Dreamy Meat Cleaver, 

Any other passions besides music?
Skateboards and baseball.
Do you have any musical memories that you’d like to share with us, that has meant a lot to you?
Rapping with Task in a shit bar in Brooklyn and Jeremy Sheaffer is in attendance. Choppin freestyle 16’s about baseball with Scoot Huber at Notsuohs in Houston.  Perseph violently murdering that same show! papervehicle & Loose Cannons at my friend Rob’s house in League City. Ceschi at the Ranch. Too many to mention..
Finishing words?
Break down all these lines that divide us..dead the ego. Money is only paper.  Fight the good fight.
Taste the magic. Lay off the bath salts.
I want to say thanks to you Michael, for the interest, support and kind words. Thanks to Ceschi and Emoh for their support.. Task, babel fishh, Filkoe/Dug Yuck, edison, Mildew, Home, beastmaster, semantic, Raj, abSUrd, Reindeer, Honey, Romain, Perseph, Nikkhoo, Julia LaDense, etc..fuck, I'm just overly thankful for all the people I have met and learned from..

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Soundtrack to Week 23

Saturday, June 09, 2012

greencarpetedstairs - greencarpetedstairs

I always love new discoveries! Somehow I have totally missed out on greencarpetedstairs, but thanks to the good people at Fake Four Inc. that has now changed. His latest album that drops in a couple of days is a wonderful mix of lo-fi pop, electronica and beautiful harmonies. Fans of cars & trains & WHY? should definitely check this one out. Dark and disturbed pop at it's very best.
Rating: 7/10

Friday, June 08, 2012

Two Reviews of The Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leaving Now

Michael's review:

I know most people expect me to review nothing but weird hip hop, electronica and fucked up beats on this page. But let's never forget about the Big Smiles part. That refers to the music that penetrates my heart and mind like an arrow, and make me lose all form of coolness and just makes me smile like a little kid. Few artists nowadays has that ability, but The Tallest Man on Earth definitely is one of them. 
Ever since I saw him live in 2009 I've been hooked. His voice, his melodies, his lyrics, his musicanship. It's all quite amazing, and I can't help myself from loving everything that he releases. I was a bit unsure though if he could top his last album The Wild Hunt, but I guess I was foolish to doubt him. It's a more mature TTMOE that we meet on There's No Leaving Now, and even though maturity and music don't always makes good , it sure does in this case. 
I will stop now, and instead encourage you to pick up this album and see for yourself. What will you discover? That the album of the year now has been released.

Jessika's review:

Even though I should not write anything about this man because who can be objective and rational describing someone you adore and admire? But one can´t help it, I have to say it again and again … This man is amazing, and his new recording likewise!
When I thought he couldn’t possibly do it better, listening to There´s No Leaving Now I realize that he just did.
This record feels a bit more mellow and subtle than the previous ones though. He touches the heart like always with brilliant lyrics and incredible melodies but maybe I do miss his energy in previous songs like in, for example, King of Spain. I´m not saying that it is bad in anyways, just missing it. Add a couple of those types of songs and he would go over the rating scale below.
Anyway he puts me in an emotional rollercoaster every time I listen to him and regarding his new work I have now banned myself from listening to the title track in public. Lets put it this way, crying like a baby on a tram on your way home from work, does make people around you very uncomfortable. 
However don´t let my experience frighten you and do not miss out on this, you are in for a treat!  

Michael's rating: 9.5/10
Jessika's rating: 10/10

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Gajah - Little Too Much

New video from Gajah's album Poverty's Prodigy.

The Chicharones - Burn It Down

Finally something new from The Chicarones. Burn It Down is the first video from the album Swine Flew that drops on June 19th.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

witxes - Sorcery/Geography

Sometimes music is like meditiation. A wall of sounds that makes you want to close your eyes and disappear to that special safe spot in your mind. The place where you feel at home and that is only yours. And the music lets you explore and widen that inner world, taking you to brand new places. witxes from France is doing exactly that with the album Sorcery/Geography. 43 minutes of beautiful escapism where each note soothes you and shields you off from the sometime cold hard reality that is out there.
Rating: 6.5/10

Monday, June 04, 2012

doseone - G is for Deep

doseone. That's almost sacred ground to me. He's been one of my favourite emcees for many years, and there is something about him that I really love no matter what weird stuff he comes up. G is for Deep is probably the anticon record that I have looked forward to the most these last few years. When I finally had the chance to sit down and listen to it, I did so with closed eyes and a smile on my face. Half way through the album though, I removed the headphones and felt restless. It's not a bad record, far from it. Very well made and dose still has some of the most weirdly amazing lyrics out there. But you know how I said he's one of my favourite emcees? Well, he's not one of my favourite singers, and this whole record ended up like some kind of well produced, intelligent elevator music. I can't pretend not to be disappointed. Singing seems to be the new thing amongst a lot of underground rappers today, I hope the trend is a short lived one. 
Rating: 5.5/10

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Scatter Brain & V-Rock - Madness and Murder vol. 1

Looking at the cover to Madness and Murder vol. 1 you kind of expect pure evil on wax. My first reaction when listening to it is with a bit of disappointment. It's quite regular style hip hop that we are getting served by Scatter Brain & V-Rock. But quite soon that disappointment vanishes when I realize that is some quality stuff up on this one. Scatter Brain's flow fits perfectly with V-Rock's beats and what we get is 9 tracks of straight up good hip hop. Nothing special, but since most music out there don't ever reach the good mark, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Rating: 5.5/10

Soundtrack to Week 22

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Sixo - Cop Gods feat. Poindexter and Heir Max

From Sixo's free EP Tracking Perception comes Cop Gods feat. Poindexter and Heir Max.

Friday, June 01, 2012

David Ramos - Sento La Tua Mancanza

Some records you don't really want to review at all. It feels like any words that you might use to try to describe it only cheapens the art that is being presented to you. I could for example try to explain how much I love David Ramos's Sento La Tua Mancanza and why, but I just can't. There's no words in my vocabulary that can make it justice. I can only say one thing really. Best release from Fake Four Inc. so far. Buy it, support good music and live life to the fullest.
Rating: 9/10

Gothic Cholo - Plastic Tears 1 & 2

Gothic Cholo. Remember that name good people. It's Bizzart's alter-ego, and when I first heard him on the tape Double Reserve that he did with big Epoch, I really liked what I heard. And Plastic Tears is a beauty too for sure. Noisy, angry, apocalytic and awesome. Definitely don't sleep on this guy. I really like his rhymestyle, and the productions from Suttikeere are on point, making Gothic Cholo one of the most interesting new names out there at the moment. What are you waiting for? Check it out for yourself. Both parts now available on one CD.
Rating: 7/10