An intergalactic journey into black space, fueled by funk, powered by computers, Space Funk is a lovingly compiled collection of superb, rare and off-the-wall space funk and electro releases mostly issued on small independent labels in the late s and s.
The tenth edition of Jazzman Records Spiritual Jazz series takes a closer look at the music Prestige was recording at the start of the s. This was the period when the modal jazz sound pioneered by Miles and Coltrane was starting to percolate through the jazz underground.
In its heyday, Prestige was the only jazz label that could hold a candle to Blue Note. Long out-of-print, it came out in , as the third release on Minneapolis label History Of The Future.
His absurdist sense of humor, the razor sharp edits and his use of odd time-signatures. There is a rawness here, not often captured on later records, where you can imagine Aaron playing live in front of a room full of young breakcore fanatics.
Thomas Zehetmair, one of the great violinists of our time, revisits the solo works of Bach, the summit of the violin repertory. Using period instruments, Zehetmair plays the music with vividness and intelligence to produce a recording that is deeply steeped in the music and at the same time original. The British post-punk veterans release their brand new album of darkly melodic goth rock. Limited orange colored vinyl. Long-dawning long-player by Pacific Northwest producer Hunter P.
Combining innovative production with an interest in music from around the globe — fourth world, Japanese avant-garde, minimalism, kosmische, dub, cosmic jazz and more — Zebra found Arp AKA Alexis Georgopoulos firing on all cylinders, drawing comparisons to Don Cherry, Midori Takada, Jon Hassell and Alice Coltrane and ultimately, made the best case yet for the polymath he is. He became known in his librettos as a wonderful, funny, moving writer.
But with Automatic Writing he examines language at a very primitive level — the human impulse make sounds to express his inner state, whether it be regret, embarrassment, fear, or happiness — even though there is no one else to listens. Few musicians have embodied the romantic, and ultimately tragic, jazz figure as totally as Chesney Chet Baker Unschooled yet eloquent in his music, the Baker mystique has only reinforced one of the most haunting trumpet styles and ingenuous approaches to jazz singing.
Released last July on CD — now available on vinyl. Recently released on CD — now available on vinyl. Vinyl reissue of a Sarah Records classic. The first vinyl issue since , Unisex has gained an immense cult following in all corners of the world and stands as an almost forgotten pinnacle of pop songwriting.
Few albums from any generation can stand the test of time, let alone become the archetype of a genre and measure by which all others are judged. Led by charismatic, iconic singer Rozz Williams and guitarist Valor Kand, Christian Death broke rank from their LA punk rock surroundings here, and eschewed raw anger for an elegant, romantic and hypnotic form of art not heard before. Boasting 40 live tracks, Crossroads Revisited: Selections From The Guitar Festivals includes a selection of landmark performances from all four Crossroads Guitar Festivals, which were held in , , and New release from the country superstar.
The second and third parts of a three-part release, which contains all of the free improve music on the original Epiphany release as well as additional material from the same festival.
Their original band name was Shellshock which they changed to Dark Angel in Limited six vinyl LP box set. Originally released in , this critically-acclaimed collection returns in vinyl format. Includes a page booklet with notes by Jazz historian Bob Blumenthal. The final LP contains audio recordings from eight TV and radio performances by the quintet. With the demise of the group Wire in , founding members Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis joined forces to create Dome.
These albums represent some of the most beautifully stark and above all timeless exercises in studio experimentation from early s alternative music scene. Dreamville and J. The album features appearances from several artists including DaBaby, T.
Sizzerhand loves beats and bees, and this is reflected in his first instrumental project, in which Edward Sizzerhand composed various honeys to beats. Standard black vinyl pressing. Terry Fox was a first-generation Bay Area conceptual artist. Beginning in the s, he worked extensively with sound, especially the use of piano wires detached from their native instrument and anchored between opposing walls of the performance space. Side one links five ways of playing the piano wires: drumming, pulling, bowing, beating and scraping.
The room itself acts as a type of natural resonator as Fox moves the wires with padded mallet, his bare fingers, violin bow, wooden shish kebab stick and rusted metal rod. Paul McCartney proudly announces the 11th and 12th classic works from his revered catalogue to be remastered, reissued and expanded across multi-format installments of his GRAMMY-winning Archive…. In their impressive, steadily rising career, soulful, blues-tinted rockers Cold War Kids have proven to be one of the most prolific commercially successful bands around.
Never ones to rest, from the…. Although …. The story goes like this. In April it was also…. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal album Feeling Strangely Fine, Semisonic will release a deluxe edition reissue of the record on October 19th via UMe.
The album will be released on…. Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott has released a touching video tribute to his friend and early guitar hero, the late, great legendary musician Mick Ronson. In addition, Urban Legends will also release a very limited amount of red translucent vinyl….
Diggin' in the Crates projects such as Diamond D. A product of the mean streets of Harlem, L made his bones in the rap game with his rapid fire freestyIe delivery and clever punchline-peppered rhymes.
The album showcases L as a master of the lyrical stickup undressing his competition with kinetic metaphors and a brash comedic repertoire.
With better production and marketing, Big L might have found himself with a platinum album but instead he settled for platinum respect.
This album captures the dynamic potential of a street legend, a legend who would later be gunned down in his prime. Outkast Aquemini Even compared to their already excellent and forward-looking catalog, OutKast's sprawling third album, Aquemini, was a stroke of brilliance.
The chilled-out space-funk of ATLiens had already thrown some fans for a loop, and Aquemini made it clear that its predecessor was no detour, but a stepping stone for even greater ambitions.
Some of ATLiens' ethereal futurism is still present, but more often Aquemini plants its feet on the ground for a surprisingly down-home flavor. The music draws from a vastly eclectic palette of sources, and the live instrumentation is fuller-sounding than ATLiens. Most importantly, producers Organized Noize imbue their tracks with a Southern earthiness and simultaneous spirituality that come across regardless of what Dre and Big Boi are rapping about.
Their distinctive vocal deliveries are now fully mature, with a recognizably Southern rhythmic bounce but loads more technique than their territorial peers. Those flows grace some of the richest and most inventive hip-hop tracks of the decade. The airy lead single "Rosa Parks" juxtaposes front-porch acoustic guitar with DJ scratches and a stomping harmonica break that could have come from nowhere but the South.
Unexpected touches like that are all over the record: the live orchestra on "Return of the 'G'"; the electronic, George Clinton-guested "Synthesizer"; the reggae horns and dub-styIe echo of "SpottieOttieDopaliscious"; the hard-rocking wah-wah guitar of "Chonkyfire"; and on and on. What's most impressive is the way everything comes together to justify the full-CD running time, something few hip-hop epics of this scope ever accomplish.
After a few listens, not even the meditative jams on the second half of the album feel all that excessive. Aquemini fulfills all its ambitions, covering more than enough territory to qualify it as a virtuosic masterpiece, and a landmark hip-hop album of the late '90s.
In it was easy to confuse comrades and collaborators Nas and AZ, so similar in styIe were their street-schooled lyrical concerns and their austere, lazy-eyed rhyming styIes. The two albums are very much the twin sides of the same double-headed coin.
They are so closely connected, in fact, that it's difficult to pinpoint where Doe or Die's points of departure are located. Many of its character sketches the Buckwild-produced "Ho Happy Jack" , urban-caked admonitions "Mo Money Mo Murder," on which Nas, in fact, turns up to return the favor, the equally hard-hitting title track , and gritty expressions of love "I Feel for You," a pumped-up "One Love" are every bit as meditative and literate, peppered with authentic, incisive documentary detail.
Ultimately, AZ's album is not quite as compact and consistent, and, unlike its mirror-image, its focus lapses right toward the end. But while Doe or Die is not quite on an artistic par with, not quite the free-flowing masterpiece as, the landmark Illmatic, it is not at all far behind in terms of quality, either. Certainly it was one of the strongest, most promising debut efforts of , and probably one of the year's strongest rap albums period.
And as with Nas, he would have a difficult time following up on this early juggernaut. The Roots Illadelph Halflife. Philly never gets its props, but the City of Brotherly Love has pioneered its fair share of hip-hop innovations. Schooly D was the first gangsta rapper; DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince perfected rap comedy, and the Roots became the first rap act to put together an impressive live show without samples and sequencers. On their third album, "Illadelph Halflife," the Roots capture in the studio the same chemistry between rhymes and live instruments that they've generated on stage.
The album does include samples, but they're samples of the band's own exploratory jam sessions in Philadelphia's legendary Sigma Sound Studios. CIassic Album Nomination Threads: Fat Joe- Jealous One's Envy Binary Star- Masters of the Universe OutKast- Aquemini AZ- Doe or Die The Roots- Illadelph Halflife Hieroglyphics- Third Eye Vision. Undeterred, Tha Liks released Coast II Coast in , a solid, consistent, and hilarious follow-up that sticks to the group's winning formula while offering enough variation, stylistically and sonically, to keep things interesting.
Coast II Coast failed to net Tha Liks gold or platinum sales, but it otherwise succeeds smashingly, effortlessly satisfying Liks diehards while still leaving them thirsty for more. For their third album, Cunninlynguists have issued a concept album that's far more ambitious than early efforts such as 's Will Rap for Food and 's Southernunderground. A Piece of Strange is about a black man who is back on the streets after being incarcerated.
The girl he meets, her father is racist. The father ends up passing away," explains producer Kno, who along with rapper Deacon make up Cunninlynguists. I'll let you listen to it so you can see what that choice is.
His drums are in a word, ridiculous. His samples are in another word, creative. From the horns of "Beautiful Girl" to the piano of "Nothing to Give," he creates a sound that is beyond the ability of most producers. The music on this album is amazingly deep, each song layered and fleshed healthily. Whereas most producers create a "busy" effect when trying to layer beats properly, Kno pulls it off easily.
The instrumental interludes and the track "Remember Me Abstract Reality " are just more evidence of Kno's ability. With such an extraordinary musical landscape, it would be easy for typical rappers to be outshined and outcIassed. Deacon and Natti, both far from typical, deliver lyrics befitting the music it is paired with.
Kno also makes a rapping appearance, but fewer than on past albums. While all the guests spit stellar verses, they don't outshine Deacon or Natti. This is a good thing, as today more emcees rely on guest appearances to save their albums from mediocrity. Dope production? What more do you want? As you approach "The Light," you will want to press rewind and relive the entire journey again.
This is crunk music for the thinking audience. A Piece of Strange, indeed. Given his subsequent superstardom, culminating in no less than an Academy Award, it may be easy to overlook exactly how demonized Eminem was once his mainstream debut album, The Slim Shady LP, grabbed the attention of pop music upon its release in Then, it wasn't clear to every listener that Eminem was, as they say, an unreliable narrator, somebody who slung satire, lies, uncomfortable truths, and lacerating insights with vigor and venom, blurring the line between reality and parody, all seemingly without effort.
The Slim Shady LP bristles with this tension, since it's never always clear when Marshall Mathers is joking and when he's dead serious. This was unsettling in , when nobody knew his back-story, and years later, when his personal turmoil is public knowledge, it still can be unsettling, because his words and delivery are that powerful.
Of course, nowhere is this more true than on "97 Bonnie and Clyde," a notorious track where he imagines killing his wife and then disposing of the body with his baby daughter in tow.
There have been more violent songs in rap, but few more disturbing, and it's not because of what it describes, it's how he describes it — how the perfectly modulated phrasing enhances the horror and black humor of his words. Eminem's supreme gifts are an expansive vocabulary and vivid imagination, which he unleashes with wicked humor and unsparing anger in equal measure. The production — masterminded by Dr. Dre but also helmed in large doses by Marky and Jeff Bass, along with Marshall himself — mirrors his rhymes, with their spare, intricately layered arrangements enhancing his narratives, which are always at the forefront.
As well they should be — there are few rappers as wildly gifted verbally as Eminem. Years later, as the shock has faded, it's those lyrical skills and the subtle mastery of the music that still resonate, and they're what make The Slim Shady LP one of the great debuts in both hip-hop and modern pop music. Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded. Criminal Minded is widely considered the foundation of hardcore rap, announcing its intentions with a cover photo of KRS-One and Scott La Rock on his only album with Boogie Down Productions posing with weapons -- an unheard-of gesture in BDP weren't the first to rap about inner-city violence and drugs, and there's no explicit mention of gangs on Criminal Minded, but it greatly expanded the range of subject matter that could be put on a rap record, and its grittiest moments are still unsettling today.
Actually, that part of its reputation rests on just a handful of songs. Overall, the record made its impact through sheer force -- not only KRS-One's unvarnished depictions of his harsh urban environment, but also his booming delivery and La Rock's lean, hard backing tracks which sound a little skeletal today, but were excellent for the time.
It's important to note that KRS-One hadn't yet adopted his role as the Teacher, and while there are a few hints of an emerging social consciousness, Criminal Minded doesn't try to deliver messages, make judgments, or offer solutions. They set the tone for the album, which reaches its apex on the influential, oft-sampled "9mm Goes Bang.
Another seminal hardcore moment is "Remix for P Is Free," which details an encounter with a crack whore for perhaps the first time on record. Elsewhere, there are a few showcases for KRS-One's pure rhyming skill, most notably "Poetry" and the title track.
Overall it's very consistent, so even if the meat of Criminal Minded is the material that lives up to the title, the raw talent on display is what cements the album's status as an all-time cIassic. DJ Premier's first album-length production outside of Gang Starr was his best by far.
Where Premier's productions hadn't shone underneath the cracking, over-earnest vocals of Guru, with a superior stylist like Jeru these tracks became brilliant musical investigations with odd hooks often detuned bells, keys, or vibes , perfectly scratched upchoruses, and the grittiest, funkiest Brooklynese beats pounding away in the background. Of course, the star of the show was Jeru, a cocksure young rapper who brought the dozens from the streets to a metaphysical battleground where he did battle with all manner of foe -- the guy around the corner on "D.
Original" or an allegorical parade of hip-hop evils on "You Can't Stop the Prophet. Camp Lo Uptown Saturday Night While they aren't the first to do so, Camp Lo's Sonny Cheeba and Geechie Suede make a direct appeal from hip-hop's current generation back to the blaxploitation era on Uptown Saturday Night, which recrafts the up-tempo, party atmosphere of the swinging s, resplendent in the musical and cultural iconography of Harlem- and Bronx-styIe blaxploitation.
As critics have noted, Cheeba and Suede's lyrics are often nonrhyming barrages of key blaxploitation terminology that--read conventionally--actually make no sense, but their spitfire pacing makes up in styIe what their verses lack in content which is actually a pretty good description of blaxploitation, if you think about it.
Much credit needs to go to producer Ski who was also the musical mastermind behind Jay Z's impressive debut, Reasonable Doubt , who shows a smart sampling ear with bubbly pop tracks that are infectious enough to rock the party while still appealing to hardcore hip-hop heads. Common- Be CunninLynguists- A Piece of Strange Criminal Minded Puff Daddy- No Way Out Beanie Sigel- The B. Coming Camp Lo- Uptown Saturday Night Immortal Technique- Revolutionary, Vol.
Recorded following his near-fatal shooting in New York, and released while he was in prison, Me Against the World is the point where 2Pac really became a legendary figure.
Having stared death in the face and survived, he was a changed man on record, displaying a new confessional bent and a consistent emotional depth. By and large, this isn't the sort of material that made him a gangsta icon; this is 2Pac the soul-baring artist, the foundation of the immense respect he commanded in the hip-hop community.
It's his most thematically consistent, least-self-contradicting work, full of genuine reflection about how he's gotten where he is -- and dread of the consequences. He battles occasional self-loathing, is haunted by the friends he's already lost to violence, and can't escape the desperate paranoia that his own death isn't far in the future.
These tracks -- most notably "So Many Tears," "Lord Knows," and "Death Around the Corner" -- are all the more powerful in hindsight with the chilling knowledge that he was right. Even romance takes on a new meaning as an escape from the hellish pressure of everyday life "Temptations," "Can U Get Away" , and when that's not available, getting high or drunk is almost a necessity.
It's the best place to go to understand why 2Pac is so revered; it may not be his definitive album, but it just might be his best. L Smooth's complex lyrical delivery. The result is an album that is far more focused, with all the ragged edges and loose threads tied up. It is also just as good as the first record, perhaps an even more satisfying single listen.
The Main Ingredient is full of rich, resonant, hypnotic songs -- the production being among some of the most seductive in hip-hop -- that subtly, but absolutely, swing with their lock-step precision. In characteristic Pete Rock fashion, all of the sharp edges have been sanded down, leaving a vibrant and completely lush musical backdrop which seems to have a dreamy nostalgia about it.
Old '60s and '70s soul, soul-jazz, and funk samples abound, and the music is dotted with gauzy keyboard washes, hugely echoed bass-drum kicks, milky basslines, and muted horn loops, almost sounding like they are emanating out of water. All of the songs feel immediate, yet they are infused with the sort of roomy ambience that lends to each the impression of a cIassic tune, evocative of an earlier era, but not one that can be described exactly, and not one to which you can definitively point.
As usual, C. Smooth is lyrically on point, spitting out intellectual rhymes and narratives that are just as propulsive and engaging as the music. The only negative aspect about the album, then, is that it ended one of the finest hip-hop duos of the first half of the s. Oh, we can agree on generalities. We both like The Beatles.
We both like to read. We both like girls. But it's the specifics that get in the way, he with his Abbey Road, stacks of books and cIassy dames and me with my Rubber Soul, three paragraph short stories and women of questionable character. Because of this historical precedent, it absolutely confounds me that we are able to reach a consensus on K. He and I not only think that it's a great album, we each consider it one of our favorite albums of any genre.
The shock probably won't resonate unless you've been on the receiving end of an hours-long Mac-beats-PC lecture. Who is Zev? You may not recognize his voice here, but it is the "maniacal villain" Daniel Dumile before the years of alcohol and drug abuse that would ravage his voice. It's Zev, in particular, Josh and I are able to find common ground on.
Unlike the straight-forward deliveries of many of his then contemporaries, Zev Love X speaks more cryptically. Buried under deep bass tones, half the fun of Black Bastards is deciphering lines from the seemingly endless supply of now-famous Dumile wit.
Counting the number of times O. Ides are name checked would require more than fingers and toes. Songs drift by in a buzzed stupor, like the warbling hook of title track and the free jazz drum segues in "Suspended Animation" and into Subroc's foray into emceeing on "It Sounded Like A Rock! There's enough dust on these cuts to dirty a dining table.
The roughness of the production only adds to the mystique on the Black Bastards saga. The album was shelved indefinitely and its mishandling, coupled with the untimely demise of his brother, sends Zev Love X into the underground, only to emerge years later as a masked supervillain.
This is a story you tell grandkids. If current rumors are any indication, Black Bastards may not, in fact, be the last we see of K. D, with Dumile rejoining early K.
But for all intents and purposes, this feels like a swan song. Remix " sounds like a begrudging epilogue to a career sacrificed at the altar of practical business decisions. If released by Elektra without pause, there is little doubt in my mind and Josh's that Black Bastards holds its own against undisputed cIassics of its time.
Obscurity is the only thing now keeping it from joining the upper echelon of hip-hop. With across-the-board stellar production help from Sir Jinx and Trakmasterz, G Rap who also produces thrives on his no-holds-barred narratives that peaked with Wanted: Dead or Alive's "Streets of New York," but most everything on this album comes close to eclipsing that song.
Few tales of growing up in a life of crime hit harder than the title track, in which G Rap displays the traits -- unforced frankness, that unmistakable voice, and a flow that drags you involuntarily along -- that made him a legend.
The album is one story after another that draws you in without fail, and they come at you from several angles. Whether pulling off a train heist, venting sexual frustration, analyzing his psychosis, or lording over the streets, G Rap is a pro at holding a captive audience. All die-hard East Coast rap fans, especially followers of the Notorious B.
If you were to take this duo's best five songs away from them, they'd still be one of the top duos rap music has ever seen. Denizens of the dank dungeons of hip-hop, Heltah Skeltah are the latest lyrical sharpshooters to emerge from the notorious Boot Camp Clik, of Brooklyn, N. Former members of the Decepticons, a Brooklyn street gang, Ruck and Rock a k a Sparsky and Dutch are on a mission to shed light as they distill years of anger and irrational behavior into rhyme.
In mood and content, Nocturnal definitely plays for the late-night prowl. Big Punisher Capital Punishment During Big Pun's unfortunately short lifetime, he released only one album, 's "Capital Punishment," and with this one release he amassed the reputation of one of New York's greatest MCs ever. Listening to this album, it's not hard to see why.
Pun shows simply amazing technique, lyricism, and versatility on the album that made him the first Latino rapper to go platinum. Pun flawlessly tells stories of crime and dangers in the streets of the Bronx, but he also makes some deeper tracks about life and philosophy.
He is simply an awesome lyricist. Also, the group of guest rappers is among the best ever assembled for an album. The production is outstanding throughout the album, coming from such accomplished beatmakers as the RZA, L. Overall this album is a complete cIassic that deserves to be a part of any hip hop collection.
After the intro, the album begins with "Beware," starting the album with a hard lyrical track with great production. Over an awesome, Latin-inspired beat, Pun drops hilarious, well delivered verses in between great singing from Joe, who also sings the cIassic outro.
Miss Jones collaborates on "Punish Me," one of my favorite songs on the album. With a subdued, thoughtful beat, Big Pun talks about a relationship gone sour. The hard piano laced beat fits great with Pun's threatening lyrics and great punchlines. The title track follows in the trend of hard, well-produced tough songs. On "I'm Not a Player," Pun speaks again of his character and interactions with women, the song utilizes a great soul sample. Dre and Snoop Dogg's cIassic song from , where Pun and Fat Joe collaborate for one of the best songs from either one of their catalogs.
With Noreaga, Pun discusses his rise to the top of hip hop, and the saxophone loop is perfect, Terror Squad always shines on this type of song. Capital Punishment is so amazing because it is a perfect combination of a truly special MC, great guest appearances, awesome production, and perfect execution.
This album is so complete and well rounded, easily one of the best albums from the late 90s. I recommend this album to all kinds of hip hop fans, it has something everyone can enjoy, because it's such a cIassic. Yet their original incarnation as a duo expanded into a triumvirate with the inclusion of Mos Def and transformed their eventual manifestation into Black Star, thwarting their initial bid for acclaim.
While Kweli's stardom may have been initially eclipsed by his more charismatic cohort, Mos Def, Reflection Eternal houses enough merit to establish Talib as one of this generation's most poetic MCs. Kweli is a rare MC, as his lyricism resounds with a knowledge that transcends his still tender age. While the unassuming, largely minimalist grooves that Hi-Tek supplied on Black Star's debut longed for a dramatic flair, he displays a remarkable maturation on Reflection Eternal.
In fact, Tek's loping keyboard wails, soulful staccato claps, and shimmering piano loops are often sublime in their arrangement and outcome. Though Kweli and Hi-Tek's debut harbors over-ambitious tendencies, clocking in at over 70 minutes in length, they are a duo that will undoubtedly stain their memory into hip-hop's collective memory with this noteworthy debut.
Welcome to the new generation of Native Tongue speaking. That alone would make this some sort of landmark recording, but it also happens to be one of the finest rap albums from the mid- to late-'80s "new school" in hip-hop that numbered among its contributors Run-D.
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