I felt it was time for a new journal, as I hadn't made one in a while. Over the past few months, I have been listening to alot of music, all of which was new to me. Some of the hip hop persuasion, and some which is down the electronica vein, so here are my thoughts on some of them...
So first off at the top of my weekly artist's list has been HipGnosis
. HipGnosis is a hip hop and electronic producer from the Midwestern United States. He is also on last.fm so go here www.last.fm/label/hipgnosis
to check out his stuff, he is awesome. At present I believe he is taking his music along the hip hop influence, and incorporating some less known mc's on his tracks. Of what I've heard so far, he is doing really well and producing some really dope music, and I urge you to check him out!
Especially his albums; META
which has more electronic feel to it, whilst Beats and InstruMentals
has a more traditional hip hop sound to it.
I have checked some tracks of his, and there is a playlist of some META tracks on his page. From META, tracks like new dope
give you an idea of how HipGnosis works. Tracks like Drop that shit
, and That shit
with Starr have that real electronic/hip hop vibe. From Supply and Demand Vol. 1
his work with Nautic is nice, really feeling this collabo, on tracks like dope boy
. This album still goes along the same vein as alot of glitchy idm/hip hop music, and I for one love it.
Seriously, if you are into Prefuse 73
, or Telefon Tel Aviv
check HipGnosis out, you won't be disappointed. He is just the first of many gems I've found myself playing and loving. HipGnosis has also been likened to Deceptikon
and 13 & God
, well worth checking out.
Next there is Moveknowledgement
. One word to describe them would definitely be funky! Moveknowledgement are an 8 piece band formed in Novo mesto, in Slovenia. Their music draws upon reggae, rap, soul, jungle and jazz, yet refuses to settle in any specific genre, which makes it difficult to categorise them. Their website...www.moveknowledgement.com
is a reflection of them, funky. Check them out! I have listened to their albums Ant People
and Sun Sun
On 'Ant People' their very first opening track [track aritst=Moveknowledgement]Vancouver Airport[/track] is a good indicator of how the rest of the album will go, with an deep electronic feel all the way. Tracks like Safe & Sound
and Ant People
have a true jazzy blues feel to them, I love 'Ant People'. I have to say, the music on this album really captures your emotions very well. Definitely worth a listen.
'Sun Sun' is the album I listened to first from them, and my favourite tracks on it are Badoo Badoo
, Sonic Fruits
and atDeep Cosmo Marathon Jam
is just a fun track. Given The Gift
are probably the most typical tracks on the album that you may expect from a group who dabble in a form of hip hop. The smooth electronic sounds of Mediation
are soothing too. The bonus track Crystal tears
is somewhat reminiscent of Zero 7
for me. There is a girl that sings on the tracks, and a guy that mc's. As far as the rapping goes, he switches up nicely throughout the album, and I do like his voice. He does rap in English on the album. Moveknowledgement manage to blend a wide range of musical genres and the result is stunning.
Next up is Efterklang
. Efterklang is a post-rock group from Copenhagen, Denmark. The group consists of five core members and a sixth member who makes films for their songs. When performing live, these six members are also joined by violinist Helianne Blais and trombonist Niklas Antonson. Their album Tripper
is what I have been checking out.
The opening track Foetus
, I think, is amazing, and it really sets the mood for the whole album, with it's softness and haunting vocals. Their ambient symphonic glitchy pop sound works really well. This album has to be one of my favourites actually. I also randomly found this page on the album, reviews by a fellow lastfmer, so check it out:http://www.last.fm/user/Fidgital/journal/2006/02/14/76303/
Efterklang have been likened to artists such as múm
and Four Tet
initially, but with the extra strings and orchestrial sounds, it is not far off something, say Sigur Rós
Now, for an awesome treat, Nicolay
's album Here
. Nicolay is a musician turned producer, who initially hooked up with Phonte Coleman
of Little Brother
. Together, the two of them formed The Foreign Exchange
and put out Connected
Nicolay is putting out Here soon, and I have to say it is one of the best albums I've heard for a whle. His producing is spot on, and he gets it so right with this album. Nicolay takes the album on a journey as he moved from his home in the Netherlands, so the US. While traveling through St. Louis alongside Black Spade
, to Pittsburgh via Wiz Khalifa
(his album Prince of the City...Welcome to Pistolvanis
deserves to be heard), a stop in North Carolina, with Darien Brockington
from the Foreign Exchange, right on down to Texas with Kay of The Foundation, and straight on through to L.A. with Sy Smith. This album is amazing, Nicolay's production is very smooth. The album creates a harmonious blend of goodbye and hello. Check it out.
Project Polaroid is a release from a unity that is Kool Keith
and TOMC3. In my opinion, this is the best thing Keith has done since Spankmaster, and the sound is closer to Octagon than anything he's done since. If you are a fan of Octagon it's worth you checking out this complete collection. Psalm One
is an awesome american female mc, who can hold her own. She released her debut album before she became a member of conglomerate Rhymesayers. Both Bio: Chemistry II: Esters and Essays
and Death Of Frequent Flyer
are solid albums. My favourite track on Death of Frequent Flyer is probably Rapper Girls
with Brother Ali
. One thing that is obvious when you listen to this album is that Psalm is hungry man, and she really shows it. Masta Killa
his new album has just dropped, and you can see what I thought of it in my 'Made In Brooklyn' thread, also check weston24's journal for his thoughts.Method Man
's album, 4:21...The Day After
is dope, Mista Johnny Blaze really stepped up his game from Tical, and it shows, alot of really solid bangers on here, and I'm liking it more and more everytime I listen to it. The weakest track for me is Yamean, but apart from that, I was loving Rza, Rae and Deck. They all come correct on this disc. But my favourite track is Dirty Mef, purely as it really lets Odb shine with Meth again, ah, it's...just awesome.
Now on to the French hip hop that I have been checking out :) The first of these incredibly breathtaking albums comes from Shurik'n
. Shurik'n Chang-Ti, whose real name is Geoffroy Mussard is a French hip hop artist from Marseille. He is one of the members of the highly successful group IAM, as well as a major solo artist. His album Où Je Vis
is impressive from start to finish. This album is a pure masterpiece of hard work and sharp, sincere lyrics. The lyrics on Où je vis are just incredible, and the consistancy is solid all the way through. From "Samurai" to "Manifeste", it's all well worked with the heavy influence of oriental culture, and it is weighted. The asiatic sounds(produced by the taoist Shurik'n himself) will touch any listener at a very deep level(even if you don't understand the words.) If you are into Hip Hop and/or Martial Arts, you'll like the music and the lyrics about the ancient japanese art of war; Samurai. This album is a serious must-have for hip hop heads.
I was also hooked up with another of IAM's awesome members, this time,Freeman
. Gosh, his album L Palais De Justice
boasts spectacular production, and flows to real beats. This album is darker than Shurik'n, but is suits Freeman well. The album tells of Freeman's life, and life in the French ghetto's and his journey to the top. As I said it is a more sad, darker album, but still well worth a listen, I am really feeling this album right now.
I have only just started listening to the Finnish rapper, Ruudolf
who, I must admit, I don't really know much about. Nevertheless, I am enjoying getting a feel for through his album, Doupeimmat jumala seivaa
Last, but by no means least (because I could go on for so much longer! hehe) is DJ Signify
. Signify is has gone from a radio presenter, to a deejee to a producer. People may have heard about him as part of 1200 Hobos, which is an enigmatic collection of d.j's, M.C's, B-Boys, and graf writers. They were started by Mr Dibbs, who is a DJ. Signify played his role in this group as DJ and producer. He has also been closely associated with the Anticon guys. He has also had production credits on Anticon’s Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop compilation, showing subtle hints of greatness.
Thoughts about Signify’s debut on Lex, Sleep No More
are varied. It is important to say that this project is a little unorthodox. Securing two unlikely allies in Sage Francis and Buck 65, Signify embarks on a desolate journey through eerie loops, stark drums, and timely scratching, all seamlessly threaded into one unique whole. It plays a lot more like a mix tape than a conventional album, essentially meaning that you need to experience the piece in its entirety. The album creates a unique ambience which is hard to deny.
Sleep No More presents an engaging, highly interpretational story, which finds itself being held together by Signify’s focus and Sage Francis and Buck 65’s ability to invent stories that transmit profound tone and presence. The dynamics are excellent; Buck 65 being the voice of wisdom, Sage being the voice of intensity and spontaneity, and Signify the master craftsman that tightens and pushes everything forward. It is thought to have been one of the best progressive hip-hop albums released in '04. This album is simply the combination of the soundscapes and beats that make up the other side of hip hop. DJ Signify is likened to DJ Mayonnaise
Some other stuff that I am checking out right now are:FU-Schnickens
- Don't Take it PersonalDans Ma BulleThe Roots
- Game TheoryThelonious Monk Quartet With John Coltrane
- At Carnegie HallVenetian SnaresOchre
- LemodiePortisheadAutechreletter of soundsNorthern
Oh No - Exodus Into Unheard RhythmsThe OutsiderKemmuruCeebrolisticsThe Outsider
Also, still lovin the Sean Paul track - Never Be Gonna Be The Same :) hehe
A BIG MASSIVE thank you
to everyone who has been hookin me up, you all know who you are, so thank you again! And if anyone would like to hear any tracks in my charts, just get at me :)