Producers Herrmutt Lobby and Cupp Cave have teamed up with Strange U’s Kashmere to released the new album, “Woof”. Herrnutt Lobby has previously worked with LA rapper Non from the Shadowhuntaz, creating the sort of hip-hop production that has come to define the so-called beat scene (known in Belgium as offbeat, a most appropriate name). “WOOF“ is a similar tour de force, one that Herrmutt – who produced the music with help from their longtime partner Cupp Cave – describes as a raw homage to hip-hop and its disciplines.
Any fans of Strange U will love this album, Kashmere aka Lord Rao is on top form as ever and the beats are just as experimental and out there as you’d expect. But for all the off-key madness, “Woof” is still steeped in hardcore, rough, rugged, hard hitting underground hip hop. Get it in your ears now!
To mark the launch of the new beats and electronic music label Smho Wal (pronounced ‘Smoh-Wow’), the label have dropped a free digital download by the elusive duo Sovereign Nation entitled ‘The Void Speaks’. It’s paired with a very limited 7″ vinyl run, which contains exclusive bonus beats on the flip, that can only be found on them few records. Each is hand stamped and numbered, with a unique character drawn on each by artist SupaSaiyan. Just 11 copies were made, so sadly I’m sure they will have all sold out by the time you read this. However, the first full release is to follow in the form of a 12″ EP from ‘Dusty Ohms x SupaSaiyan’ coming in the summer. Definitely a release and label to look out for!
Stray Dog returns with a new EP “Soap”, once again produced by Bare Beats. The combination of Stray Dog’s fragile, haunting vocals and Bare Beats sparse, dark, electronic production works perfectly over these 5 tracks. Elements of Massive Attack style trip hop, Boards of Canada soundscapes, future beats chugging rhythms, along with dark, indie pop can all be found on “Soap”. Definitely worth a listen and a download, all for free!
Download the “Soup” HERE
Bristol producer Awkward returns with a 3 track instrumental EP, “Torch Wave”.
After masterminding the beats for The Cloaks (Awol One,Gel Roc and D Styles on the scratch) and Hell On Hell with San Jose mc Megabusive last year, Awkward returns for 2016 with a short instrumental collection of songs recorded ‘during transition’.
Awkward developes his sound further on this EP, hard hitting drums and otherworldly musical parts combine for the short display of ‘Torch Wave’. Definitely one for all you electronic, future beats fans out.
Globetrotter of parallel subcontinents and digger of rare, forgotten records, Eothen “Egon” Alapatt tracks sounds from the dawn of time to the four corners of the world. On the other side of the globe, French designer Christophe Lemaire stays forward thinking and audacious in his choices: far from our deified present, he cultivates a love of timeless designs and mixed influences; a passion for iconoclastic music hidden in the dark corners of a global cultural industry.
This extraordinary openness has been at the heart of their friendship since 2007. Their exceedingly eclectic, fierce rock discoveries gave birth to a first anthology, Where Are You From? (Now-Again, 2010), the fruit of Lemaire’s excavating Alapatt’s archives. That was a postgeographic exploration in psych, rock and funk territories from 1968 to now; this second anthology celebrates their impressionist vision and explores garage rock from the 1970s, voicing the struggles of independence in Zambia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
“Can’t You Hear Me” comes from a track by charismatic Zamrock icon Paul Ngozi, a Lemaire favorite. Ngozi’s title track sets the tone for a drastic selection of seventeen songs with rebellious undertones, riddled by an infectious groove, the forsaken writing about a forgotten chapter in the history of music. Ngozi,WITCH, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Amanaz, Wells Fargo, Eye Q and the Funkees represent a generation fighting for their freedom, armed with fuzz guitars, symbolic objects of a new movement. They played in Fela’s kingly shadow, were influenced by Hendrix’s psychedelic solos, Jefferson Airplane’s penetrating chords and Cream’s repetitive melodies. The music of their colonial oppressors they reassembled and reinterpreted with pure energy, without nod to hymn or flag.
A halo of cosmic design and pure lines, the cover for the anthology by Sanghon Kim transports us in this whirling odyssey in space and time while composer/producer Pilooski concludes the album with an edit of WITCH’s “No Time,” an xpression of the critical need to open up to new perspectives, new imaginations and to keep unearthing riches of our universal heritage.
“Through these tracks we can feel the communicative energy, this pure vitality, not only of Africa , but of youth and hope,” Lemaire states. “And I find it quite universal and timeless. It is not about music as an industry , or as product , but music as a craft . And one can immediately recognized when music is created with heart and soul.”
Released April 15th on Now Again Records take a listen below.
The wait is over, El Michels Affair is back with the follow up to 2009’s underground cult classic ‘Enter the 37th Chamber. The first single 4th Chamber, a cover of one of the toughest GZA tunes from Liquid Swords finds EMA’s signature sound stronger than ever. Fuzz guitar and synths reminiscent of Morricone scoring Scarface dance over absolutely crushing drums giving the original RZA production a proper run for its money. The lush production and choices of instrumentation take a Hip-Hop classic and bring almost a Heavy Metal influence to it while never losing the groove.
The B side is something of a Big Crown family affair, El Michels inviting the one and only Lee Fields to the track to sing the vocal part over from O’l Dirty Bastard’s rawer than raw album cut Snakes. The tune starts with a sweet stripped down vocal performance from Lee then quickly turns dark and tests the durability of your speakers. EMA taking a small bit of the sample track and turning it into a thing of its own, once again the tried and true pairing of producer and singer bring us yet another timeless classic. Seven years later it is safe to say El Michels Affair is sharper than ever.
Released April 15th on 7″ and digital download listen and buy your copy HERE
Before Mickey and the Soul Generation there was Mickey and The Fabulous Five. As members of a Latin Soul band called The Royal Tokens, Mickey Foster and Emil Carter developed their chops playing in front of San Antonio teens at Sunday night Battle of the Bands shows. Mickey’s own band, The Fabulous Four, soon became The Fabulous Five with the addition of Gilbert Rivera on bass. In the late summer of 1967, local music entrepreneur E.J. Henke took the Fabulous Five into Jeff Smith’s Texas Sound Studio to record two sessions of funky New Breed Soul instrumentals as well as a backing session for Charles Russell’s group, The Three Dudes. Still a teenager, Mickey and his father both signed Henke’s recording contract.
While their recordings with The Three Dudes were released as a single on Henke’s Satin Records, the superb instrumentals The Fabulous Five cut during the summer of ‘67 remained unreleased until now. Relying heavily on the rhythm section, this set of recordings captures the young band crystallizing what would become their signature sound. By 1969, The Fabulous Five had changed their name to Mickey and The Soul Generation and had begun recording their now legendary sessions with Manny Guerra’s GC Productions. These early sessions stand alone as a key chapter in the development of one of the greatest, heaviest exponents of Funk.
Out April 15th on 10″ vinyl and digital download, you can listen and order your copy HERE
Connie Price and the Keystones are the Los Angeles musical group whose 7” releases kick started the Now-Again label way back in 2002 – and whose “Wildflowers” album was the first full length release by a new band on the label.
Wildflowers contained contributions by the Heliocentrics’ producer/drummer Malcolm Catto and Poets of Rhythm/Whitefield Brothers/Karl Hector & The Malcouns founder/guitarist Jay Whitefield. Now that Now-Again is the home to the previous ensembles and more, it seemed fitting to revisit where it all started, with an expanded version of the album that kick started it all.
The album includes previously unreleased Malcolm Catto tracks and tracks previously only available on out of print vinyl. This is without a doubt some seriously funky business and a must for anyone who loves heavy drums, funky licks and some jazzy out madness. A definite highlight is the super tough cover of Donovans “Get Thy Bearings”, I defy anyone not to get their low slung groove on to this beauty. Released April 15th on Now Again Records, “Wildflowers” is definitely worth grabbing, even if you bought the original.