Monthly Archives: March 2009

DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN: Get It Right Now – 2009 – Single review/ Free download

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Is Del having a laugh? Get It Right Now seems to be based round a sample of a car alarm. Also, like a car alarm, it drowns out the possibility of focusing on any other sound – the rapping for example. Avant-garde or just shit? I really couldn’t care less – the only reason this is even getting one star is because Del’s rhymes are probably pretty good, if I could be arsed to listen and filter out that droning fucking loop. He made an excellent LP once called No Need For Alarm, a fact which may appeal to those readers with a sense of irony. I’d write more but listening to this is doing my head in.
Download: DEL- Get It Right Now – HERE

Del The Funky Homosapien – Myspace

CAMP LO: Stone And Rob: Caught On Tape – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★½☆☆

The title of this was presumably intended to evoke the word ‘caught’ in the sense of, “That was flames! Lucky we caught Stone and Rob on tape!” – which is a pity, because there’s far more of a sense of, “Whoa – Camp Lo got caught releasing half-baked shit on tape,” about it. According to net rumour (so maybe best not to give it too much credence – if any), a new Camp Lo studio LP and follow-up to 2007’s very dope Black Hollywood, entitled A Piece Of The Action is forthcoming and, if I’ve understood things correctly, Stone And Rob… is meant to be a stopgap between and the two. And ‘stopgap’ is exactly the right term. This sounds like a collection of B-sides and outtakes that have been thrown together in one of those meeting-label-obligations manouevres. One of very few exceptions is the full-on street-gritty 2 Dope Boyz. But this is the first track and when an LP starts with something of this calibre you know one of two things: either the LP is a stone classic – or that nothing that follows will match up. In this case, it’s the second. But let’s deal with 2 Dope Boyz first, a banger that ramraids its way into your consciousness with the refrain, “Two dope boys in a paddy-wagon/ Getting crushed by a building,” over a super-heavy beat and distorted bassline. I’m not going to argue with that. Apple Juice Kid gets props for production on this one and he is also behind the only other two half-decent tracks on the LP. It’s really noticeable on this how the Kid’s production is the most varied and inventive (it’s him after all who lays down the dub groove of 89 Of Crime) – it might not always work but at least he’s having a go eh? Elsewhere on Stone & Rob… handclap snares dominate to the extent of drowning Sonnie Cheeba and Geechie Suede’s lyrics at times. ”Can I get a soul clap…” asks one of the duo on Sky Hi to which the correct response is ‘Fuck no, please not again.’
Gotcha is a hideous smoove soul-drenched number that sounds like it was shat out as an afterthought by whoever’s doing bland mainstream rnb-hop at the minute, On Smash is a minimal boom-clap effort that desperately needs a hook. Pips is peppered with an irritating vocal loop of what sounds like ”Choo-choo” and collapses exhausted at just over a minute and a half. Ticket 4 2 and After The Marv plough two different kinds of champagne-and-chicks paths, both equally tedious and Ha goes back to the boom clap – which, with its shuffling hi-hat, I wouldn’t even mind were it not spoilt by the repetition of the word Ha far more regularly than is necessary.
Regulate kicks off with a female vocal hook by Yahzarah and then drops some fuzzed-up guitars, it could do with some tidying up but it’s basically not too bad, Diamond Crookz is a three and a half minute cocktail-jazz based yawn. This leaves Future which, with horn swells and more chilled rhyming, actually sounds like a last track but comes before the actual last track which is the second best track here. Hold On (a sentiment that may well be too late for some listeners) has, in common with 2 Dope Boyz, a sense that it’s had more than five minutes spent on both production (a low-fi funk groove) and lyrics. Between them, the first and last tracks form two halves of a palatable bun with a half-assed filling that can’t decide what flavour it wants to be.
Out now on Soul Fever Inc.

Listen to CAMP LO – Stone And Rob: Caught On Tape

Camp Lo – Myspace

FOREIGN LEGION: ‘Night Moves’ LP – 21 April ’09 release

Read Night Moves album review here
(PRESS RELEASE) The cliched phrase “hip hop is dead” has been dismantled by Oakland California hip hop crew Foreign Legion with their new album, Night Moves which is dropping April 21st some time in 2009 (having been delayed again for unspecified reasons) on Hungerstrike records! The 13 song, full-length masterpiece figuratively kicks it’s hip hop rivals in the nuts with soulful horns blasting in your face, and thick-as-honey basslines drenching your thirsty soul! Produced by Prozack Turner, DJ Flip (Ireland),DJ Buzz (Austria), G. Koop, Oh No, Grandpa J and Introbeats (Iceland), the album is exactly what underground hip hop is hungry for! Recorded, written, and produced completely at night in three countries over ten months, Night Moves is sure to make noise in the nocturnal circles of the worldwide hip hop underground! “We wanted to make an album that represents some of our darker thoughts, both literally and metaphorically, so we decided to experiment and do all the creating, recording and mixing at night” said Marc Stretch, lead emcee of Foreign Legion. Producer and fellow emcee, Prozack Turner had this to say, “Both Stretch and I were very busy in the daytime hours, with me working at the check-cashing place and Stretch doing his day gig (Stretch is the daytime DJ at a local San Francisco strip club) that the only time we had to work, was at night. Even when we recorded on tour, it was in the late hours. This album was 100% made at night.” The group is releasing a single in late March, don’t sleep!

Foreign Legion also just returned from this year’s South By Southwest music festival in Austin,Texas! The boys would like to thank all the fans who came through and helped burn the venues to the ground! Special thanks to Ravi, the manager of Ramada Limited for his patience regarding the noise and the naked cannonballs off the roof into the pool, (who knew pizza could float?) and also to Sgt. Stephani for being cool about the “smoke” and open containers!

Foreign Legion – Myspace

Hungerstrike Records

DEAD PANDA: Million Dollar Dub – Video

Tripped-out L.A. beatfreaks Dead Panda have just dropped a video for their creepy track Million Dollar Dub, directed by Montgomery Fisher. A murky narrative that appears to follow a homicidal bent copper tracking down the band with intent to kill includes such diverse elements as: a bit of street-skating, a sinister sacrificial teddy-bear and footage of the band performing amidst dry ice. Oh – and it goes a bit David Lynch at the end when the cop pulls the trigger. If you don’t know Dead Panda, imagine moody proto-goths Bauhaus getting all jiggy with moody trip-hoppers Massive Attack and you’ll get the picture.

Dead Panda – Myspace

P.O.S: ‘Never Better’ LP – Press release + ‘Drumroll’ video

P.O.S releases new album Never Better 27 April 2009 via Rhymesayers Entertainment
P.O.S returns with “Never Better”, the follow up to 2006’s critically acclaimed “Audition”. Written mostly in a moving car, P.O.S raps at full clip to ride rolling drums and revving distortion. There’s an urgency that he keeps in careful check, and then unleashes for spring-loaded verses that represent his best work. “Never Better” enters a room like a bombshell with a black eye, badass, noisy, and impossible to ignore. Feedback and relentless drum rolls are only occasionally tempered by sung choruses and clean, chiming guitar lines.

With an unlikely punk rock past and an ever growing loyal hip hop fan base, P.O.S proves he is a rapper with range, a real musician and an unstoppable performer. Don’t mistake “Never Better” for some hybrid or some contrived crossover project because for P.O.S, genres are as they ever were: permeable.

With further production on the record coming from Lazerbeak, Paper Tiger & MK Larada and guest spots from The Bled and Jason Shevchuk [None More Black/Kid Dynamite], special mention must go to the special packaging of the CD record:

A Limited Edition transparent CD digi-pak that holds 16 solid and 6 transparent inserts allowing the consumer to configure their own personalised cover art that also includes the lyrics. A demonstration of how to approach the packaging has even been created by the good folks at Rhymesayers:

Having just finished a headline tour in the USA and already a confirmed act on the entire Warped Tour USA 2009, P.O.S is finding time to head out to Europe for a week long mini tour to showcase the new album. P.O.S’ two plus years on the road in support of “Audition” proved that no genre can contain him. He’s just as comfortable performing in front of punk and rock crowds as he is with his hip hop fans. On different tours, he went out with Atmosphere, Minus the Bear, Gym Class Heroes and Underoath plus did 50+ dates on the Vans Warped Tour.
Check the vid for Drumroll below:

P.O.S – Myspace

DOOM: Born Like This – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★½☆

There are those who will have been desperately waiting, dicks in hand, for this to come out. They will dig the blunted late nineties sound that characterises the first two thirds of this LP and snicker away at the cleverness of Doom’s verse in their little bedrooms. Don’t get me wrong – the man’s lyrics have always been fire – but even when he was more prolific than he has been of late, his output was patchy in terms of beats and cuts, and that is also an issue with this LP. Should you be new to the work of Daniel Dumile (a.k.a Zev Love X, King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn), he’s been putting out stuff like this under the MF Doom name since Operation Doomsday in 1999 and when I say ‘like this’ I mean esoteric samples, largely drawn from old American cartoons and superhero serials, blunted, dusty, quirky beats and his trademark surreal flows. That’s all well and good, but if MM Food was Operation Doomsday Pt. II, this is Pt. III and while it isn’t qualitatively worse on the whole than previous efforts, it’s lacking some freshness.
The J-Dilla produced Gazzillion Ear is a promising opener which trips along on a Middle Eastern melody but second track Ballskin musically plods – disappointing because Doom drops tight self-referential couplets like, “The flow is towin’ precision as a afro-trim/ All big letters but it isn’t no acronym.” Raekwon vehicle Yessir! picks up the pace but also underwhelms musically. And then there’s shit like eighth track Batty Boyz which is frankly embarrassing. Oh what? It’s a post-modern exploration of the homoerotic subtexts of superhero partnerships? Fuck off. “Oh shoot get a load of that fruit…Bustin’ Batman, head bobbin’, slobbin’ Robin’s knob”. Grow up for fuck’s sake. Is he a fifteen year old insecure about his sexuality or something?
The presence of Ghostface Killah brings some fresh air with Angelz in a 70s orchestral-loop-backed Charlie’s Angels-inspired tale of undercover chicks fighting crime in NYC and Doom’s unconventionality is reflected in his choice of sample on Cellz. Basically an apocalyptic reading by 60s and 70s literary sleazeball poet Charles Bukowski, it now pretty much sounds like a description of modern America.
It’s also an interesting state of affairs when one of the better tracks on a Doom LP doesn’t even feature Doom – so Empress Sharhh’s claim to be Still Dope is one that Doom might want to have a think about. The ultra-short Microwave Mayo rests on a heavy bass groove and Doom redeems himself with throwaway lines like “You could cut the tension with a switch blade/ And serve it on the same plate of hors d’oeuvres that a witch made.” Kurious-collaboration More Rhymin’s spare piano-tinkling melody is promising but at a little over one and a half minutes it’s barely got going before it’s ended. There is a treat towards the end, however, with Supervillainz, although, again at under three minutes, it weighs in on the short side but does employ an inventive staccato beat of the kind you wish he’d used a bit more.
I dunno – the lyrics seem generally seem better in the first half while the beats and cuts seem better in the second half. Something doesn’t quite gel with this LP and if you’re new to Doom and think this is dope you’ll be tempted to seek out older (and better) material. If you’re a Doom completist you’ll get yourself a copy of this LP whatever I say – but you’ll know there’s older and better material. Classy cover though.
Out 24 March on Lex Records

Listen to DOOM – Born Like This

DOOM – Myspace

Lex Records

BIG POOH of Little Brother: ‘Delightful Bars’ LP update + tracklist

Big Pooh’s Delightful Bars will be available in four different versions and features guest appearances by Jay Rock, Justus League, E-Ness, Muhsinah and production from Khrysis, Jake One, Illmind, 9th Wonder, Young RJ, The Co-Op and OhNo.

As one half of the critically acclaimed duo Little Brother, Big Pooh has toured the globe and back, dropped three critically acclaimed LP’s (2003’s The Listening, 2005’s The Minstrel Show and 2007’s Getback), numerous classic mixtapes, his own solo-LP (2005’s Sleepers) and worked with some of the biggest and most respected names in the industry: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Pete Rock, Consequence, Big Daddy Kane, Buckshot, 9th Wonder, MURS, Mos Def, Bun B, Kurupt, Nottz, Rhymefest, Talib Kweli, Cormega, Kardinal Offishal, Hi-Tek (among others).

Big Pooh’s latest vehicle is a street-LP entitled, Delightful Bars, and there will be four different versions of Delightful Bars made accessible, including a special iTunes only version (referred to as the Candy Apple version), which will be released on 3-24-09 and the North American retail version of Delightful Bars (referred to as the North American Pie Version) will be released on 5-5-09.

Delightful Bars lead-single is the Khrysis produced “The Comeback” and its accompanied by the OhNo produced B-Side “Radio” and is further bolstered by guest spots from Pooh’s Justus League cohorts (Chaundon, Joe Scudda, Jozeemo, Big Dho & Darien Brockington) Jay Rock, Torae and production from Khrysis, 9th Wonder, Jake One, Illmind, Young RJ, The Co-Op and OhNo.

For Pooh, what he initially planned to be a mixtape took on a new life after a few particularly productive studio sessions as he affirms “this is some of my best work to date as a solo artist. I started off recording for a mixtape, but I had a plethora of material that deserved a presentation much larger than a mixtape. Delightful Bars was born from the Dirty Pretty Things, Rapper’s Delight, and The Recipe recording sessions. The fans will find that this project serves as the perfect bridge between Sleepers and my upcoming sophomore solo album Dirty Pretty Things.

Tracklisting and credits for Big Pooh’s Delightful Bars:

North American Pie Version
1.) North American Pie Intro
2.) The Comeback (produced by Khrysis)
3.) Its A Go f/Torae (produced by Dae One)
4.) Nothing Less f/Ab Soul, Jay Rock & K Dot (produced by Young RJ)
5.) C.O.D. (produced by Mickey Free)
6.) Move f/ Darien Brockington (produced by Phonix)
7.) Something Like Stars f/ Big Treal (produced by Jake One)
8.) Step Up (produced by D.R.)
9.) Reality Check f/ Big Dho, D. Black & Mykestro (produced by Khrysis)
10.) Problems f/ Jozeemo (produced by Illmind)
12.) Roll Call f/ Jozeemo, Chaundon & Joe Scudda (produced by The Co-Op)
13.) The Life f/ Mushinah (produced by Khrysis)
14.) Rearview Mirror (produced by 9th Wonder)

CANDY APPLE ITunes Version
1.) Intro
2.) The Release (produced by Illmind)
3.) Power f/ O. Dash (produced by Khrysis)
4.) The Comeback (produced by Khrysis)
5.) Radio (produced by OhNo)
6.) Hands Up f/ Chaundon and Roc C (produced by Khrysis)
7.) On The Real f/ Jozeemo and E. Ness (produced by Khrysis)
8.) Nothing Less f/ Ab Soul, Jay Rock and K. Dot (produced by Young RJ)
9.) Move f/ Darien Brockington (produced by Phonix)
10.) Roll Call f/ Jozeemo, Chaundon, and Joe Scudda (produced by The Co-Op)
11.) The Life f/ Mushinah (produced by Khrysis)
12.) Rearview Mirror (produced by 9th Wonder)
13.) Outro

Big Pooh – Myspace

Big Pooh – Video trailer for ‘The Comeback’

DOOM: Born Like This – LP release update + tracklist

Finally Lex Records have announced 24 March 2009 as the revised release date for the new Doom (oops – my bad – I mean ‘DOOM’) LP Born Like This READ DOOM – Born Like This – LP review HERE. It is further rumoured on the net that this might not be the only release from DOOM a.k.a. the artist formerly known as ‘MF’ Doom, (or Daniel Dumile to his mum) this year. It’d be funny if the delay was all about the name change too. Imagine – you send your artwork off to the printers only to find out that the ‘MF’ hadn’t been dropped or it said ‘into’ instead of ‘like’. Christ – what a pain. It’d be enough to embitter you against the world for the remainder of your natural life and hide your scarred visage behind a metal mask if a former record label hadn’t already royally pissed you off by shelving your old school masterpiece because of – er – your front cover design.

Born Like This a.k.a the LP formerly known as Born Into This sees production duties mainly shared between DOOM and Jake One and features guests that include Raekwon and Ghostface. Tracklist below. Check back here for a review soon…

DOOM – Born Like This – Tracklist
01. Supervillain Intro
02. Gazillion Ear
03. Ballskin
04. Yessir [ft. Raekwon]
05. Absolutely
06. Rap Ambush
07. Lightworks
08. Batty-Boys
09. Angelz [ft. Tony Starks]
09. Cellz
10. Still Dope [ft. Empress Sharhh]
11. Microwave Mayo
12. More Rhymin’ [ft. Kurious]
13. That’s That
14. Suppervillainz
15. Bump’s Message
16. Thank Ya

DOOM – Myspace

Lex Records

THE FUMES: Python For A Pillow

Rating: ★★★★★

This is high-octane blues-tinged garage rock that you might imagine belting out of the sort of remote desert roadhouse where cage-fighting is acceptable Friday night entertainment. There’s also a nice juxtaposition of danger and comfort in the title to this latest single by The Fumes, whether or not you take a literal meaning or head off down some dark Freudian path. Apparently the name (and song) were inspired by a dream the singer’s missus had about their baby laying it’s head down on the very fattest kind of boa constrictor. Not the place I’d leave my baby but then The Fumes are Australian and therefore well-hard, so the singer’s baby’s probably well-hard too. I expect he or she uses a stubby for a dummy and strangles pythons with one hand as a warm-up before an encore involving shoving a bull shark down a crocodile’s throat.
Out 20 March

The Fumes – Myspace

CONVERSE SKATE: Spring 2009 Collection

Twenty years ago it was a fairly safe bet that anyone wearing Cons – especially the cup sole high-tops – was a skater. Cons were basketball shoes, of course, but had the dual advantage of being both cheaper and easier to get hold of than Vans, Etnies and Airwalks (pretty much the only companies making specialised skate shoes at the time) and damn if they weren’t comfy too. Fast forward to 2009 and Converse have followed the lead of other big league names Nike, Adidas and Puma into the skate shoe battlefield. Unlike Puma (but like Nike and Adidas – presumably because they actually want to sell some skate shoes) Cons have actually bothered to set up a dedicated website to their skate sideline and unlike all three other companies, Converse follow an altogether skinnier route – at least tongue-wise. The spring range for ’09 is based around four models shown below (the CTS, ERX300, Revere, and the Pro Leather) and looks pretty hot. Hit the Cons skate link for more…