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.
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.
Curbside Jones - The Cherry Blossom Effect: Trance(End) Edition
Austin, TX artist Curbside Jones re-releases his critically acclaimed album The Cherry Blossom Effect: Endless Dream Theory in a re-mastered Trance(End) Edition with new artwork, expansion songs and unreleased material with production from Curbside Jones, Corey Arnell, BeRight and new contributions from British producer Phill Blanks and Japanese producer Free Design. Each free download comes with a digital booklet, wallpaper and alternate artwork by Curbside Jones himself. Physical copies of the album are available in limited quantities and can be ordered via Curbside Jones’ bandcamp. This project is officially sponsored by Back2Pluto.com and ReUpSpot.com.
mdnt ft. Jez Dior - “Dreamcatcher”
dir. Colin Kelly
mdnt (pronounced Midnight) is a Brooklyn-based singer that brings a balanced mix of big electronic production and soulful vocals together, or as he calls it, Future Soul. As his formal debut, “Dreamcatcher” leaves a great first impression with a very well-produced music video that is ambiguous in nature yet matches the music.
Intuition & Equilibrum - “Ain’t The Blues”
dir. Kyle Gray
I have nothing to say. These lyrics need more spotlight than anything I could write about them:
I ain’t gonna front
It’s been a rough couple months
Sex, ladies having babies business just been fucking up
Plus I been feeling like my tongue is stuck
Puffin’ blunts to feel something other than nothing, nah.
This bubble keeps up on the outside
But let’s them in enough to think there’s never any downtime
The town sides muffles the outcries about white lies that the side of my mouth hides
Yeah, I said I hide behind a mask
Trying to find the line of sight - I write about the past
Lookin’ at the stars, lying on the grass
And cooking up them bars when I’m high enough to gas
I fall for girls that’s taken
Swooping relations on the verge of breaking
Wonder if my turns worth the wait
When the search don’t work and the flirts is vacant
It’s a piece of paper that you got paid in for school
Look at your feet and wonder who made your shoes
The feeling in your tummy knowing money made the moves
But nah, this ain’t the blues - Na-uh, it ain’t the blues
It’s knowing that you’re going nowhere, paying dues
And thinking that your ma dukes ashamed of you
Knowing that someone you trusted just be playing you
But nah, this ain’t the blues - Na-uh, it ain’t the blues
Nah, it’s something much deeper
You wanna fall in love but know lust is just cheaper
Cut it up, bust a nut and just leave her.
You fuckin’ up, know you’re running from keepers
I spend a lot of time in my cave, now worried that the drum breaks may lead to break downs
Zennin? on a song that’s never ending,
Lifting up the pen and pretending, I’m picking up the pace now
But what’s the point of runnin’ faster - if you’re only runnin’ laps
You’re so concerned about staying on the track you forget the finish line’s the starting point you’re coming back to.
So now I keep it how the crow flies
Cause road signs never point to gold mines
And closed eyes don’t enjoy the whole ride
Bundled for a cold night, buckle up and hold tight
Money comes and goes
If it goes before it comes shit you know your role lower your soul or go and load your gun
Never yelled but never heard, your tongue
It never listened to the tall tales some of those soldiers spun
The truth has a few different shades
Believe ability belongs to who’s getting paid
I didn’t know the rules, I was new to the game
‘til you snapped your foul fingers and the crew shifted ways
Man, I was a fool to the air when
I understood you and embody blue number seven
I did the work - you took the credit
You played the game smarter - that’s cool; I accept it.
But don’t be out smearing my name while
You step on peoples backs to get yourself paid, pal.
Fuck around and get laid out. Ignore me when you see me - stay away with your fake smile
(Lyrics via RapGenius)
And of course Equalibrum supplies the perfect soundscape for Intuition’s personal update on life that manages to be braggadocious in it’s highly technical lyricism but not with it’s content. Each new single these two have released in the past few months are powerful pieces of music. Their upcoming album is looking great so far.