Any track featuring DOOM is going to be an event. Now match him with the ever-inventive, producing-savant Flying Lotus and you have a match made in heaven. See “Between Villains” for their latest pairing, part of Adult Swim’s music catalog. Here DOOM finally washes away many fans disappoints with his uninspired, lazy flows of late for two sped-up, beat-blazing verses that breath new life into the two decade-old rapper. This is accomplished in large part thanks to Flying Lotus’ rhythmic production, churning drum loops and atmospheric highs match with DOOM’s trademarked monotone voice. Soaring synth collages signal the end of each bar, as simple, direct twinkling snaps and claps mold underneath DOOM’s brewing voice. For fans longing of the pair’s next mash-up, “Masquatch” delivers in all sorts of ways. Flying Lotus has been the lone producer of late to succeed in rising DOOM out of his slumber to instill fiery unique, lavishly dank, and murky-ridden verses that complement the You’re Dead! producer so well. The track, so perfect for a late-night drive down the cityscape whilst being featured on the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack, eerily sways and suspiciously slithers around, bleak, uncompromising, supremely villain-like. If DOOM is still able to pull bars like this there’s no telling where his career can go if he ever so chooses to get it lifted off the ground.
You might remember that a while back we praised a six track debut cassette by a band named American Wrestlers. Since then all of the tracks except the lead track “I Can Do No Wrong” has been taken down from bandcamp, signaling a potential label signing. And as expected, yesterday legendary indie label Fat Possum announced that they will release the band’s great debut single “I Can Do No Wrong” early next year. Above is another chance to check it out.
Flying Lotus leaves the jazz fusion of You’re Dead!, his newly released album, for a minute and returns to some pretty straightforward hip hop beats on his Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack contribution “Medication Meditation”. The track features lyrics from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony member Krayzie Bone, backround vocals from Niki Randa and live bass play provided by Thundercat. The beats are haunting and nocturnal, while leaving plenty of space for Krayzie Bone’s to spit his rapid flows. But as with all of FlyLo’s best work, “Medication Meditation” is about three minutes too short.
You can read our review of You’re Dead! here.
Previously featured Sydney quartet Cull recently released a new single titled “Nasty Drought”. Like previous single “Magi Fuel” and their 2013 EP, this new track continues the bands quest to dig deep into bleary, narcotic psych-rock. Youth Lagoon’s Wondrous Bughouse still is an obvious reference point, but Cull is also more and more carving out their own narrow psychedelic space formed by gorgeous drawn-out guitar chords mingled with distant, atmospheric synth sounds.
As mentioned, Angel Olsen is releasing a deluxe version of her stunning Burn Your Fire For No Witness today featuring five previously unheard songs, all of them worth giving a few spins. To mark the occasion, she also premiered the video for “Windows” – the gorgeous closing track on the original release. In the video, Olsen is getting her face painted in an old house by two children before suddenly appearing clothed in full Elizabethan costume.
You can read our review of Burn Your Fire Fore No Witness here.
Following a string of EP releases, SZA, the sole female hailing out of the TDE collective, is prepping for her debut album A. The first taste of it has been released in the form of ‘Sobriety,’ a dazzling track featuring simmering production that cascades throughout, and features a stellar bass line from Thundercat. SZA details the difficulties she endures with her current life, attempting to stay sober during it all, failing over the shortcomings of love. Where she shines most though is in her voice, luscious and sinful, her ability to bounce from cadence to decadent cadence gives the track a smooth, unwavering feel. Her surreal lyrics, starting with the opening lines “I had a dream last night you gave me a ring, with a fucking castle on it” gives the track a bittersweet vibe, chilling to the sounds of lost love as SZA attempts to cope with it. Her constant reassurance in the chorus, “I’ma be right anyway, better than you, better than her,” brings a resoundingly somber effect to the track, filled with regret, unable to move on, thus accounting for it by making boisterous claims to boost one’s ever-deflating ego. ‘Sobriety’ is a cool track that surfaces internal struggles, matching them with silky-soft, dream-like lullabies.
Coming hot off the heals of his 2013 release Flying Colours, Shad returns with ‘Hang On,’ a collaboration song with DJ T.LO. The track is the lead single off the duo’s forthcoming EP Boarding Pass. On it Shad, always known for his intense lyricisms and dynamic flows and verbiage, discusses the continued media indoctrination we experience in society today. In accordance with much of Shad’s music, the unassuming, often-times depressing messages, are masked under upbeat, light-hearted sounds and Shad’s vocal delivery. During the track the Canadian rapper spits about the shifting roles between comedians and rappers, the former leaning towards being a more exposing and truthful medium as the latter has relengated to foolishness. All this occurs over upbeat production, with a rapid piano diddy parading itself through. DJ T.LO also enforces a reoccuring vocal sample hooting and hollering in the background, as hi-hats and tumbling trumpets blares after every bar.
I’m a bit uneducated when it comes to New York producer Michna’s previous work, but since the release of his great new track “She Exists In My Mind”, I’ve spent a few hours with his seven years old debut album Magic Monday. It sounds a bit dated, but I would still recommend it to those who like widely eclectic, hip hop oriented, instrumental electronic music. While updated, his new track largely follows the path of Magic Monday; big crashing beats, darkened sinister bass grooves and thrilling synth lines. “She Exists In My Mind” will be part of Michna’s sophomore album, Thousand Thursday, out February 3 via Ghostly International.
On ”best from the inbox” we gather a couple of standout tracks submitted to us via email directly from the artist/band or a small imprint. Please give them a chance to break through the waves by listening, sharing your opinion and if you like what you here, by showing your support here or directly to the artists.
John Moose – Flower
“John Moose is a band with its roots in the woods of Värmland, Sweden. During the last couple of years we have been writing, recording and producing songs for our upcoming debut album. It has resulted in a conceptual album that emphasizes the human ambivalence between nature and civilisation.
The name of the band comes from the fictional leading character that plays the part of the storyteller in our music. The lyrics are describing John’s fate in this tug-of-war where he decides to leave civilisation for absolute isolation.
Flower is a love story between man and nature. It is also a story about man’s search for belonging and what he is willing to surrender in order to pursue it. The song is written, recorded and produced by John Moose. The video is made in cooperation with Roya Sarvestani and Peter Olofsson.”
Zae – Tweakin with Haydes (ft. Dominus & Masta Scheme
Zae is part of a collective calling themselves Houston Intellectuals. On his new EP 72 Hours we’re introduced to fun, shape-shifting hip hop with creative beats provided by Dollar Dom. I’ve chosen the bleak closing track “Tweakin with Haydes”, but the whole thing is worth a spin.
Irregular Expression – the void
Irregular Expression recently uploaded a track called “the void”, an experimental hip hop instrumental with a nice ambient feel. He is currently working with Italdred Records as a roster artist and an album is in the works.
I, Us, We – Sunday
Talking Under Water – Tossing & Turning
Rochester band Talking Under Water will release their debut EP on December 2. Above is the title track that the band describes as “an ominous, bluesy number about an awkward love-triangle situation–being with a person but wanting a different person and having the person you’re with be totally cool with your pursuing person B…it’s complicated.”
There are only two or three blogs I visit on a near-daily basis. yvynyl is one of them, and hidden gems like Breakfast In Fur’s latest single “Shape” from small NY imprint Bar/None Records is a good reason why. I’m hearing some great languid The Cure-shaped guitar chords as well as Panda Bear-like croons on “Shape” – taken from the bands upcoming debut LP Flyaway Garden, out February 3rd next year.