November 19, 2011
Last year, I was introduced to powerhouse producer and Hungarian born musician, Opolopo. Strange name, yet a strong and simple definition meaning "Plenty" in Yoruban gives validity to the man's abilities behind the boards. For over a decade, his sound has played behind the works of various labels and artists, some I may have heard but would have to research for familiarity. Voltage Controlled Feelings (which is not his debut) released on Tokyo Dawn Records presented an array of funked out vibes in combination with a sonic blend of 80's inspired R&B, techno synths and future electronic sounds. Tracks like "Glide" "Take it Slow" and "Waiting" all had me moving and contorting my body in ways it hasn't done since I was a teen. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but seriously, I bounced and jerked my body uncontrollably to the rhythms as they blared from my speakers. Before now (Mutants), his full production on Amalia's Art Slave brought more attention to his diversity in the lab which churned out some gems for this album. Amalia, with her very passionate vocals and stylish groove worked wonderfully with Opolopo's new production course. I heard influences from Janet Jackson's - Rhythm Nation and Guy's - The Future (both classic albums) throughout the project.
Now on Mutants it's all about the remixes he has done. Scheduled for release on December 5th, the 14 track album is filled with some banging tunes. Taking on tracks which feature artists like Talib Kweli, Amalia, Colonel Red, Gregory Porter, Soulparlor and more, this one is a great introduction for those who aren't familiar and a true gift for those like myself who has heard one or two of these remixes, but doesn't own any - until now.
Lisa Preston aka LP - M.U.S.I.C (Opolopo rmx)
Yellowtail - Back to The Melody (Opolopo rmx)
November 17, 2011
I spoke about Proh Mic in my post connected with the Hawthorne Headhunters, so it's only right I give shine to the man himself as he too has his album out in stores. Rhythm for Days is the official debut by emcee/producer Proh Mic. The West Seattle, Wa native has been putting in work for a few years now, and it's unfortunate that so many, myself included has just come to know of him. Right around late 2010 was when I got introduced to his vibe. Catch A Pisces, Cheesecake and Prohmita are three free albums I got put on to courtesy of BIFTK. Rawsome is another, which I don't have, but right now it's all about Rhythm For Days.
Released on Oct 25th via All Natural Inc, RFD took me on a musical journey back to the 80's while still finding current ground with original production, stellar song composition and a cast of superb indie talent. "Mothership" sets the tone of the album beginning with what sounds like an emergency bell, but is more of an activation sequence preparing listeners for the cosmic journey ahead. The multi-faceted Georgia Ann Muldrow is the first of several guest appearances. She sings a tale of lost knowledge ranging from black love, raising our children and cultivating our foods on "I Remember." Coultrain drops in on the funky club banger "Hit The Floor" The first of Proh Mics 80's renditions is "Don't Stop The Music" and "I Can't Wait" is the second - both easily placed me back in Brooklyn, NY jammin' on the block with my boom-box.
"Sleep In Girl" ft Tone Trezure, I'd have to say is my fave for now. Despite hearing it some time prior to the album's release, something about that deep bass-line groove and Trezure's distinctive voice will have me on repeat a few times. "Easy Luvin'" ft Paolo Jean is another winner with its soulful-samba feel.
Outside of handling the production, Proh also contributes his share of lyrics throughout, but shines so bright on "Optimistic." Really feelin' the positive outlook he has on this track, and to add more to keep one salivating, Proh closes out the track with this is Busta Rhymes sample that's just fire! He told me via twitter, he believes there's an extended version on the physical cd. Well, I'm gonna have to order one in due time.
As this is not a review, but merely a quick glance into a really dope album from a very talented brotha, I say to you, check this album out and support it. I read on one of my acquaintances FB page that it's our responsibility as music seekers and lovers to promote and share the news of really incredible artists when we come to know about them. I'm doing me part, now you do yours. Proh Mic - Rhythm For Days is available now via itunes , amazon, and for the physical which includes a separate instrumentals disc, you can get that here.
Proh Mic - Whatcha Gonna Do ft Jessica Neal
Proh Mic - Don't Stop The Music
November 15, 2011
Groups breakup! It's just something that happens. Sometimes the answer is obvious (friction), while other times it's just simple differences that don't even matter. Well, St. Louis natives Black Spade and Coultrain, the two remaining members of Hawthorne Headhunters have no beef whatsoever with former members, MC Adad, I -Ced & Pro Mic. The desire to go solo was just imperative for the former three. Good for them. MC Adad is currently working on his solo while both I-Ced and Pro Mic have release dope debuts. Now Hawthorne Headhunters follow up and carry the name strong with their Myriad of Now Ep. This is just a glimpse of what's to come from the full length 14 track album due out next year. A combination of Electro, Funk, Jazz, and Soul music fused with free spirited lyrics. I'm a fan of both artists, so when I pressed play, I allowed the music to do what it do: ENGAGE!
Myriad of Now released last month, and I've had this since the 24th of then, but for those who are still sleeping or just not at all aware, peep two gems from the EP below. Groups like Hawthorne Headhunters in my opinion deserve to be a household name, but I do understand, some things are just not for everyone. But for those that feel their eclecticism, support them on itunes and stay tuned for more.
Hawthorne Headhunters - Teleport
Hawthorne Headhunters - No Crying Now, No Lyin' Down
Heard this joint while listening to 22tracks and had to inquire about dude. Shocked to see who the singer was, but nonetheless Allen Stone has a soulful voice that can't be denied. I appreciate that fact that this is so organic - live from his mother's home and it plays just as beautiful as the recorded song itself. "Unaware" comes via his sophomore effort - Allen Stone. Some pretty nice tunes provided the preview on itunes. It's been added to my wish list. Check it out for self.
November 11, 2011
Queens-bred femcee Dynasty drops a truly emotional tale about her absentee father and the trickle down affect it has had on her life as a grown woman today. As a father of four and one who only knew his own through pictures, I feel Dynasty's hurt. At 39 years of age, I often reflect on how lessons in my life would've been delt with differently had my father been there. In the end though, the will to "Forgive" allows the freedom to let go of the pain and live for the joy that is there for us all to gain. "Forgive" comes from Dynasty's latest effort, The Love Ep which is available today. With production from Jinx, Tall Black Guy, O.p. Supa and more, this is the next phase to come from an emcee that remains to thrive despite all diversity. Please be sure to support The Love Ep, and thank you Dy for a beautiful song and Darryl Richardson for a well conceived video!
November 9, 2011
Tamara Wellons is one of a few artists that has been making moves for a few years now, but I honestly just got into her early last year. I heard her song, "Like Rain" on some dj's mix and couldn't stop bouncing to the heart pumping house song. Her debut, "Life Is" is a great mix of dance, house, jazz and R&B vibes sprinkled with inspirational and uplifting lyrics. Her beautifully executed cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is one that needs to be heard by the masses.
Three years later, the Ivor, Virginia native returns with her first single, "Ah God"off her long awaited Songs For Janie, due out next Tuesday (11-15-1). Tamara been hard at work creating this work of art and which happens to be inspired by the Zora Neale Hurston classic, "Their Eyes Were Watching God." "Ah God" begins with a quick tale of blinded love then breaks into a richly sung chorus of trusting ones intuition. To carry out that dream inside your heart and in to the world where it belongs. Sounds like a pleasant changing of musical lanes for Tamara, and I thus far personally accept.
Tamara Wellons - Ah God
November 8, 2011
The artist known as Dirg Gerner remains somewhat of a mystery to me. I first came to know of him back in September of 2010. Tokyo Dawn Records put me on courtesy of their compilation, The Heart. With a voice able to seize your spirit with an ad-lib or the use of just a few words, Dirg Gerner is soon to become one of the Uk's most wanted artist. His forthcoming project, Preface EP, due out sometime soon will feature the likes of Rahel, Fatima and Olmino, and the sound will draw upon soul, jazz, latin, hip hop and more. Here's the first track - Rubies & Diamonds ft Fatima. Opening with an odd pogo spring sound then moving into an eerie vibe, the track takes on a slow bouncy groove allowing Fatima's soulful voice to shine just as well. Keep your ears and eyes open for Dirg Gerner's - Preface Ep.
Dirg Gerner - Rubies & Diamonds ft. Fatima
November 7, 2011
Last night at Crowbar, the 813 came out strong to represent & celebrate for one of their very own favorite & gifted artists - emcee/producer, Jinx. The release of his long awaited sophomore album, New Growth was a moment in hip hop that had to be witnessed. Accompanied by all the good and bad of the culture - squealing mics, smokey air space, b-boys and gay boys who love the music equally, old school funk and soul joints, mad scratching courtesy of a few hometown djs, the tight fit of the crowd and the feeling of being out in the park after dark made the night just right for the occasion. This was Jinx' time to shine as he unveiled the second coming of himself.
Sharing your flaws, achievements, struggles and overall soul isn't always received by the fickle fans of this music, but there's no increase to ones being when you remain in one lane. Sure you can have a couple dope beats, but what's left after that? Simply the beats! But there needs to be some substance as well to balance. Jinx provides that substance with New Growth and it is pure honesty from a humble young man who's very aware and informed of his surroundings.
The 16 track album produced by Jinx with the exception of two, featuring fellow Tampa artists, Dynasty, Mike Mass, Monica Delgado, Ron Marks and others touches heavily on the current state of the music via tv/radio programming (Robots), the beauty and ugly of female relations (Split Personality & Let Me Go) his dance vibe paying homage to the b-boys & b-girls (U) and various aspects of todays society on Reality Check. Jinx spits raw emotion into every track from commencement to close. A true sign of growth from his previous works and just a preview of what's to come from this continually aspiring artist.
I interviewed Jinx back in March where he spoke briefly about the album and his excitement for the world to hear it. After witnessing his performance last night, I can say he accomplished one tier by breaking ground once again at home. Now it's time to spread it out beyond the city. Physical copies are currently only available via mail order and the digital will soon be on his Bandcamp. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for your copy. Until then vibe to two gems from the album. Support the real!
Jinx - Official ft Dynasty
Jinx - My Advice ft J'Nelle
November 6, 2011
This is a big tune right here! "Broken Toy" from UK producer fLako is a funky Mardi Gras type joint filled with blaring horns, a marching band drum and some quirky additions to complete. This is just one of five ill tracks from his forthcoming ep, Carving Away The Clay due out on Project Mooncircle next Friday (11-11-11). My introduction to the abstract producer came mid last year after hearing his work on a few podcasts and online-radio shows I listen to. Dude is definitely an instant like or dislike depending on how out there you are with your musical taste. I absolutely love his vibe! There's no specific genre to place him in - just consider him eclectic art flowing through your speakers. Peep the track below, and if you like, make sure to support the ep when it drops. Pre-order available now on itunes.
November 2, 2011
French producer, Onra gets the fans ready for his Chinoiseries Pt. 2 album with his second single from it entitled, "No Matter What." It's a short monster of a track, but it grabs you from the onset of the haunting intro. I hadn't heard it's precursor, but from what I know about Onra via his work with Byron The Aquarius (The Big Payback '08) and his Long Distance (2010) album, I'm certain Chinoiseries Pt. 2 will be something of epic standards. Pre-order of Chinoiseries Pt. 2 available now on itunes. Album drops November, 15th.
November 1, 2011
My girl, ReneeDion came through yesterday to bless us all with a little Halloween treat. Not that it's just for the day, and mind the fact I'm a day late, but the track was appropriately suited for the occasion. With the go ahead from Tall Black Guy, Renee lends her sultry vocals to his TBG vs Michael Jackson's Thriller remix. I've witnessed before with Eric Roberson's "Past Paradise," the unique way Renee takes a song and flips it to make it her own, and that is what she has accomplished once again with Michael Jackson's major classic "Thriller." Her last project, "The City That Sleeps" is still available for free download here. Please show your support and check her out.
ReneeDion & Tall Black Guy - Thriller
Earlier this year, Seattle, Washington based husband & wife duo, Malice & Mario Sweet gave to the world their Happy 2 Year EP as an introduction to their work. The lead single, "Speed of Light," produced by none other than my dude, Tall Black Guy showcased one dimension of the couples soulful/good feeling vibe. Now several months later, the three unite once more to bring a very cool & sexy type joint entitled "Love and Friendship" off their new release, Happy Two Year: Deluxe Edition. As you can see from the video, the couple share their relationship and what they do while out on tour with The Physics and Blue Scholars.
Along with the gems from the first installment, Malice & Mario have included the new TBG single and three remixes for you to delight in. Show your support for good music on itunes or on bandcamp. #Happy2Year again!
Malice & Mario Sweet - Date Nite (TBG remix)