Buffalo Black - Buffalo Black LP
Texas emcee Buffalo Black combines just the right amount of energy, awareness, technical skill and sonic cohesion for his new self titled LP. The beats, made by various producers such as the Midnight Kids N.O.M.A.D, SamuraiMugen and more, all have a dark tinge that increases the intensity of Black’s delivery; creating a brand of intelligent fight music. The aesthetic is even applied to subjects such as sex on the very abrasive “Just Breathe”. Things get toned down towards the end to create a more insular experience that balances out the ferocity. A very well-rounded release.
Alias: The Architect - Steady Rock
Drawing influences from the worlds of 8-bit, Reggae, Soul and more, Southern California producer and multi-instrumentalist Alias: The Architect composes beats with every ingredient made completely from scratch on his free debut LP, Steady Rock. You’d swear these tracks all used samples, but everything (except the obvious recordings) down to the 8-bit and the singing is organic. Stay tuned for much more new music from Alias.
N.O.M.A.D - N O / H I D I N G
Texas producer N.O.M.A.D returns with his latest album N O / H I D I N G. An appropriate title, N O / H I D I N G reveals N.O.M.A.D making his debut as an emcee on a few tracks. More than likely, almost all producers make great emcees as they are the ones who understand their sound better than anyone else, and N.O.M.A.D evidently knows how to tame his very wild sound.
Cosmic Compositions - Avant Garde Series Vol. 2 [Alice Coltrane]
New Zealand curators Cosmic Compositions compile tracks from artists from the US, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden and more for their latest Avant Garde Series tape paying tribute to the late great Jazz pianist, Alice Coltrane. Later taking on the name Turiyasangitananda, Alice evolved from playing Jazz with her husband, the legendary John Coltrane to more meditative music after his death. Her legacy continues to gain recognition through her descendant, Flying Lotus. With the emergence of the beat scene, her music is an interesting conduit for producers to channel their energy into, as evidenced by the tracks in this compilation. Cop this great juxtaposition of the past, present and future.
Zeroh - “Coves & Caves”
Dir. David M. Helman
Los Angeles artist Zeroh dives into a deeper experimental realm than his previous project, tape with this new track “Coves & Caves”. Enhanced with the distinct animation stylings of RUFFMERCY (as seen on the music videos for Blu’s “Doinnothin”, ScHoolboy Q’s “There He Go” and many more), a simple video of hanging out and doing acrobatics with skater homies turns into a dark visual trip. Shout outs to the homegirl Low Leaf and LA beat scene veteran Ras G on the cameos.
Akoko & SIR E.U - “Thee Hipókolypse”
prod. Plue Starfox
dir. Jay Dexter
Washington D.C. duo Akoko link with fellow D.C emcee Sir E.U to unleash ”Thee Hipókolypse”. The girls go in with the breath controlled double-time flows while E.U fires off smooth bars over some of the bounciest Plue Starfox production ever. The three lyricists execute an overall amazing and well-balanced song from top to bottom. Stay tuned for Akoko and Sir E.U’s upcoming albums CAT•A•RAPS and FXCK 2, respectively.
KoolQuise - “PlayLi$t”
prod. Nu Vintage
Texan emcee KoolQuise brings a mellowed out vibe on his new Nu Vintage-produced single “PlayLi$t”. The concept of the track addresses Quise’s mission and also sums up what I try to accomplish with music curation as well: we’re all just trying to make a playlist. Stay tuned for KoolQuise’s upcoming $mall Time Lo$er (The Dream Theory) EP and check him out on the track “Pink (Act II)” off Curbside Jones’ The Cherry Blossom Effect: Trance(End) Edition.
Foci - The Achievement Gap
After many years of performing on stages from Los Angeles and Atlanta to New York while also maintaining and cultivating musicians from his city, Pasadena, CA emcee Foci has finally released his debut album, The Achievement Gap. While topics of the current state of Hip Hop, companionship and community are addressed, the core of the album is Foci illustrating very personal stories about his experiences as a former teacher in a very questionable American education system that also ultimately played a part in the murder of his best friend. Coming from a time where originality and honesty mattered in music, Foci never compromises his unique style of rhyming and maintains a strong foundation with soulful production by Diverse, Jansport J, and more. The issues discussed in The Achievement Gap successfully marry Foci’s two worlds of music and education and, despite being laid off for speaking against the ills of the system, allows him to continue to educate the masses in a more universal medium.
Doc ILLingsworth - Train Runner EP
Cop Detroit artist Doc ILLingsworth’s new instrumental EP Train Runner and together, you can help him run the train he needs to get to SXSW this year. lol. All jokes aside, ILLingsworth does have a gig booked for SXSW but he needs some monetary assistance to actually get to Austin, TX. This very funked-out EP has 9 tracks of absolute bangers as a result of ILLingsworth stepping outside of his comfort zone as a producer. Support a true DIY musician by purchasing this EP.
Update: Supporters have managed to cover ILLingsworth’s travel fees. Good work, folks.