Archives of August 2013 (7)
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THAVIUS BECK - Thru
Contrary to what his experimentalist posture suggests, Thavius Beck's music has sometimes been too easy. The ex producer of Global Phlowtations, one of its few members who met some kind of critical recognition in the 2000's, thanks to his releases with Mush Records, Plug Research and Big Dada, sometimes spoiled his music with too many effects and pyrotechnics, and with some big, threatening electronic sounds, sounding like an exaggeratedly gothic version of hip-hop. Many times, though, the individual proved that he was really gifted and talented.
CLOUDDEAD - cLOUDDEAD
Appeared by the end of the 1990's, out of the indie rap movement, Anticon was a world apart in hip-hop's underground scene. Located as many others on the very active Bay Area, but gathering people from multiple places, the label funded by Sole managed to federate a large community of original artists, a collection of marginal and weirdoes, all seeking to challenge the many routines of hip-hop.
TOOLSHED - Schemata
Making one's best so that hip-hop looks like a live experience, strengthening raps with the sounds of "real" instruments, has not always been a successful approach. The most famous group which tried to go this way, The Roots, has sometimes failed at it, coming dangerously close to boredom. And when a rapper proves to be good at this, it is more often in concerts than on records. Toolshed, though, a group from London, Ontario, used this formula fantastically on their second album, a record blended with bouncing guitar, drums, bass and saxophone sounds, reinforced with facetious and dynamic raps, and full of rhythm and scratches.
PIGEON JOHN - Sings the Blues
In 2004, along with a collection of poems, Pigeon John released the South Bay Blues EP. This had been the best and most personal record ever delivered by this LA Symphony ex-member, also a Good Life Café regular. It was 8 tracks long only, but each of them was no less than exceptional. They were worth "What is Love?!" and "Emily", the best songs on Pigeon John is Dating your Sister, the rapper's previous album. This EP, however, had not been advertised enough to find its public, and it was more easily available as illegal MP3s than as a regular record. Eventually, we had to wait for a new album, Pigeon John Sings the Blues - the last the mixed-race rapper released on Basement Records before he joined Quannum Projects - to finally get hold of these 8 marvels, but in a new version.
ALLEY BOY - War Cry
Nowadays, Alley Boy has a proper contract with Atlantic Records, but he still cares about his mixtapes. According to what he said about his very latest, War Cry, he considers them like normal albums. He approaches them with the same level of care and professionalism as regular records, selecting the best materials from his prolific production. To be honest, it is a bit hard to believe, judging by the 22 tracks of his gargantuan latest release, a perfect complement to both editions of Definition of Fuck Shit, and to Purgatory, Nigganati, and The Gift of Discernment, the free projects which, over the last three years, helped building his reputation.