1. “Brainwash” (Apollo Brown Remix)-yU f. Finale & Grap Luva
Original Taken From: yU’s “Before Taxes”
Remix Taken From: Apollo Brown’s forthcoming LP, “The Reset”
I mean, damn, yU’s “Brainwash”, the track that served as the perfect finale (pun intended) to yU’s classic “Before Taxes” was one of the best tracks from 2009. I didn’t think it would be possible, or even fathomable to top Slimkat’s (this cat is dope too! Stop sleepin!) production that fueled a cut that featured equally impressive guest appearances from the likes of Finale, Grap Luva and yU, himself. Yet, one of Hip Hop’s “star’s in the making”, Apollo Brown took “Brainwash”, made it his own, and unveiled a production style that we’ve yet to hear from the man who usually relies on hard, head-pounding drums with samples that tug on your soul. As Apollo stated in a text from earlier this week: “The vibe changed on me as far as what I wanted to do (with the album). It (“The Reset”) started out had, then it took on a more “Life” sound”. On no track is that more evident that with “Brainwash”. Stay tuned for a “proper” review of this album later this week, and a Bloggerhouse presents: “20 Questions w/Apollo Brown” in preparation for the release of Apollo’s INSANE “The Reset”, dropping May 25th. And I thought The Left’s “Gas Mask” was a classic? Whew……
Taken From: P.U.D.G.E.’s EP “Don’t Touch My Drumset”
Now, this is something different. After already releasing a sound release with Dibiase on the All City label back in January and dropping what is one of the best productions of 2010 with the wall-bashing “Smoke It Over”, P.U.D.G.E. has delivered something what is somewhat unexpected with “Porkpie Crust”. Featuring an ill string riff and a earth-shaking bassline, “Porkpie Crust” is the exact opposite of a track like the aforementioned “Smoke It Over”. Whereas “Smoke It Over’ will have you clenching your teeth and nodding your domepiece, enough to where a chiropractic visit may very well be in order, the mellow strings found on “Porkpie..” set you at ease, as much as a track that features a slick Ol’ Dirty Bastard sample can. Also after you download “Don’t Touch My Drumset” for the mere price of 5 bones, I highly recommend checking out “DistantLuvHer”, which made it somewhat of a toss-up as to which track to post for this week’s “Most Played”.
Taken From: Jarel’s “Beyond 2morrow” digital LP
For over a decade, (yet another PA cat) Jneiro Jarel (aka Dr. Who Dat?) has provided listeners with an unbelievably eclectic mix of sounds ranging from hip hop, to electronica, to Brazilian funk, to bass music. With more monikers than Kool Keith, his collaborations and producer credits are almost too many to mention. Highlights include works with Khujo Goodie (as Willie Isz), MF Doom, TV on the Radio, and many more.
As a precursor to the recently released “Android Love Mayhem”, Jarel dropped the digital album “Beyond 2morrow” under his Dr. Who Dat? moniker in 2009. I actually purchased this album nearly a year ago while perusing Itunes and it sat on my PC at work for nearly as long, until finally taking in the album earlier this week. My recent addiction or “phase” for the electronically fueled Hip Hop production stylings has led me to fall in love with the pulsing sounds of “Viberian Twilight, Pt. 2″. There’s nothing stagnant about Jarel’s production on “Viberian..”, as the track reaches a thrilling apex near the :40 mark. Also, be sure to peep a track that Dart and I rave about, “Android Love Romance 1 & 2″ from Jarel’s new album “Android Love Mayhem”.
The O.G. can be found on: Bambu’s “Paper Cuts” EP
OK, here’s a good piece of advice: the Sabzi remix of Bambu’s “Slow Down” is one track you have to let “ride out”, I can almost guarantee you that the opening tones won’t necessarily cater to your eardrums as the track can easily be mistaken for a “pop” production. I know Sabzi’s beat selection has been a lil’…umm..left field as of late (peep their “OOF” EP, I get the concept, but ehh..), this after delivering one of the best albums of the last decade with “Bayani”, but with each passing second “Slow Down” seems to get even better and more likeable. What shines brightest on this cut is obviously Sabzi’s production (not to say that Bambu is a slouch on the mic either), namely the ridiculously bouncy hook. Be sure to DL the track HERE.
If you don’t know about All City’s “10X10″ series already, you’re truly missing out on something special! As the fourth installment of All City’s dope series, this release pairs J-Dilla collaborator House Shoes with the debut recordings of Jordan Rockswell aka Snowman Jack. Both of House Shoes’ beats have a classic, Dilla-esque electro-funk/bounce to them, with bangin’ drums and warm soul samples he gives a class in timeless beat breaking. On the other hand, young Rockswell incorporates ear-piercing synthlines to give his beats a contemporary swerve ready for the Beat Dimensions types. As I mentioned in Shoes’ post for his newly leaked, “Newports” (which can also be found on this release), “I didn’t know dude had it poppin’ off like that on the production tip”! “The Look” follows in line with “The Makings” and “Newports” as some of the best ‘ish to bless these ears in 2K10.
6. “Inspiration”-Epilson Project (link courtesy of Moovmnt)
Taken From: Epilson Project’s forthcoming “Audacity” LP, dropping May 25th
Wooooo! Kev Brown laced these Oxnard, Ca. residents with pure HEAT! This, which leads up to his collaborative LP (Round Two) with the hardest working man in Hip Hop this year, LMNO, for “Selective Hearing 2″, another album that is loaded with Kev’s reworkings of James Brown’s classics to cure your eager ears. If you can recall, the Epilson Project are the same cats who dropped a pretty dope EP in 2009 with “FREEloaders”. The group dynamic of the seven man collective is pretty ill, while not quite up to Wu-Tang circa 1993 standards yet, the potential that is displayed on “Inspiration” and “FREEloaders” should put these cats on your radar.
Taken From: Onra’s “Long Distance” LP not EP
There’s an obvious formula that Onra uses for most of the tracks on Long Distance, the album is crafted upon the irresistible pop sensibilities of groups like Midnight Star, Change, SOS Band, and more. The title of Parisian beat-layer Onra’s latest LP, Long Distance, may be misleading. The album stays at a constant intensity using a satisfying structure of juicy 80’s pop/boogie melodies squashed beneath fat kick and slab snare drum patterns. There is no long journey to be traversed between the first track ‘My Comet’ (a gem) and the last track ‘Cherry’, and there is nothing wrong with that either. Not every record needs to be about long cosmic journeys. And the simplest, yet funkiest of all is the ode to the Broncos and Grand Cherokee’s of the early-’90s, “Jeeps”. While not nearly as long as you’d like it to be, the track clocks in under two minutes, “Jeeps” will have you wishing you’d invested a lil’ more into those amps in your trunk.
Ok, it’s been nearly a week since HHB and Moovment put me on to the unbelievably well-produced, free instrumental LP, “Higher Vibrations”, and after a little detective work, here’s what I’ve gathered about this cast so far:
1. Apparently, dude hails from K.C., judging from his MySpace page (cats still use MySpace?)
2. You can follow Dstroy on twitter HERE
3. You can also peep more from Dstroy and his InNate Sounds label-mates via their webpage (which, also looks pretty dope)
I can’t even front, “Higher Vibrations”, in my humble opinion, is the most intriguing, maybe not the best, but intriguing “instrumental” album that I’ve enjoyed since 14KT’s “The Golden Hour”. What’s most enjoyable about “Higher Vibrations” is the collage of sounds that range from bits of electronica that mingle with thick basslines and clever vocal samples, ganked from the likes of Reggie Noble and M.O.P. (who gotta’ have the absolute best soundbites in Hip-Hop). Plus, this album, much like “The Golden Hour” was engineered to perfection, this album plays cripsy clean in the ride with not a single noticeable flaw. Can’t wait to hear more from Dstroy as I feel like this album is just breaking the surface for him.
This ‘ish right here? This ‘ish right here? Man, I needed this! As I continue to venture into the new beat generation, Midaz brought me back to surface with production by fellow Floridian (see also: Heart & Brain aka TzariZM and Vis Major) Arsun Fist on the straight, no chaser vibe of “Freestylin”. Lyrics? Somebody want lyrics? Yessir, you can find plenty of ‘em here. Midaz who blessed blogosphere with his highly touted “El Midaz Affair” (Get It HERE) earlier this year, simply rips this track to shreds. “Freestylin” is another song in a string of releases to warm up listeners everywhere for MidaZ’s upcoming project “The Nightlight EP”, a collaboration with partner/producer IMAKEMADBEATS, who has been just as dope on the production tip. What’s up with all these Florida cats bringin’ the East Coast back to Hip Hop’s forefront?
Taken From: Nottz’ “Shine So Brite” EP
Yeah, no doubt, “Cars” has been making it’s rounds on the interwebs (the video at least), but now Nottz has made the MP3 available via Itunes with his “Shine So Brite” EP. We all knew that Nottz could produce the hell outta’ nearly anything he puts his stamp on and the array of artists that he’s worked with is pretty damn impressive, yet lyrically he flows effortlessly over the ridiculous production of “Cars”. This track is catered for the summer as Nottz goes in B.I.G. “Warning” style.