Archive for August, 2010
For the past two days, the only reggae I’ve listened to — and I mean really listened to — is the music of Gappy Ranks. The British singer is sort of a newcomer to the international reggae scene and I’m glad to have a young person gravitate toward making new school culture music rather than dancehall. Romain Virgo did the same thing earlier this year, but that little 17-year-old (while awesome) still has some growing up to do. On the other hand, Gappy Ranks is grown. His latest album, Put The Stereo On, released last week, is impressive from start to finish and I highly recommend purchasing it.
Gappy is half Jamaican, half Dominican, and 100% talented. Check out the video for his song, “Longtime” above and support Put The Stereo On. Even though this song isn’t on the album, you’ll be glad you bought it. Meanwhile, pour one out for Maradona. I can’t believe he got sacked by Argentina. Shame.
Did you say you wanted some rock-solid, high-quality classic hip hop? Alright, we got you. This here is The Blackest Brown EP, the latest fruit of the long-running collaboration between two Seattle artists: producer B. Brown and mc/producer D. Black.
Black is the guy who’s evolution from street gunner to spiritual thinker received heaps of attention following the release of his latest solo project, Ali’yah. B. Brown is less in the spotlight, but as a musical collaborator for Black and the Sportn’ Life family, he’s put his distinctive sonic mark on many of the finest local releases over the last five or so years.
On this ep, Black and Brown pull together a solid roster of supporting characters, including Fatal Lucciano, SK, Grynch, and Spaceman. Some of the tracks have popped up on various releases previously, but there are some serious new ventures, including the standout “My Mitzvot,” which features Black singing and rapping over nothing more than a simple acoustic guitar and a light dash of percussion.
It’s solid, front to back. Somebody’s somewhere is making a movie, and this ep’s going to be the soundtrack.
For compare and contrast, check below the jump.
Big shouts to Larry Mizell Jr. and Seattle’s very own KEXP for bringing Aloe Blacc into the studio on August 22nd. Mr. Blacc’s new album, Good Things, drops September 28th on Stones Throw. Peep the video clip for Politician below and stream the interview and entire live performance, featuring Martha Gonzalez and Quetzal Flores of the L.A. Chicano band Quetzal, and most recently the Seattle Fandango Project, over at KEXP.
Aloe Blacc for President 2012
Though we didn’t call it out here on LxNxM, this past Wednesday was the 9th anniversary of the untimely death of Aaliyah. A lot of tributes were floating around out there, and I wanted to haul one of them out before the week wraps up.
This here is DJ Still Life’s Tropicaaliyah, which – as the name suggests – takes the chanteuse, and remixes her through some updated and, dare they say it, tropical perspectives. It’s a concept that could easily fall flat and sound terrible, but Still Life pulled this one off. Not that I would trade these for the originals, but they do what a remix should do, and that’s to draw a new energy from an existing song.
In that light, it’s a success, and it’s a testament to a great artist that her work stands the test of time and changing tastes.
H/T to First Up, and Swedes all around the world for the look.
I normally wouldn’t throw the video director’s name in the headline like this but Jon Augustavo came so clean with this music video that he deserves more shine than usual. There’s a mini music video revival happening in Seattle right now with a host of fresh young talent stepping to the forefront. It’s obvious from the work that Augustavo did on Sol’s new single, “Dear Friends,” that he’s among the new crop of video makers worth watching. Check out a fresh interview that LxNxM extended family member Prometheus Brown recently did with the Augustavo and definitely be on the lookout for Sol has he continues to make moves through the latter half of 2010.
props to the FADER for this video. big track.
This classic Roots groove has been looping over and over in my head for a couple days now. I wonder why…
Let us never forget that for one brief moment, it seemed that the next Super Producer crown could fall onto the heads of two skinny white dudes with guitars and looping pedals. I speak, of course, of the year 2004, and the near-rise of Ratatat.
One of my happiest finds, way back in 2005, while sifting through alt-folk and banjo records in Portland (long story, better not to ask), was a promo-only copy of Ratatat’s Remixes, Vol. 1 album, which I can safely say was a welcome surprise. Ratatat dug into the acapella vaults, pulling out gems from folks like Beanie Siegel, Raekwon, somebody named Jay Z, and a still-unknown Kanye West (whose plea to Talib Kweli for help with the womenfolk is now one of the unintentional comedy gems of the 21st century), and revamping them into strutting, stuttering anthems.
The first remix album was followed up by a second, another strong showing, if not to the same degree as volume one, but after that, the Ratatat gents seemed to quit the remix/production angle in favor of doing the band thing. So it goes. But for those who are interested, the remixes are still worth their weight in digital gold.
Tracklists after the jump.
Just a video here for you, for now, but this felt like a good one to share on it’s own accord. Eighty4 Fly’s a local cat who’s relatively new to the scene, but he’s been making good noise for the last little bit. His most recent venture is this collabo with Grynch and new Atlanta resident J. Pinder. More so than any other Eighty4 Fly track, this one feels complete. It’s personal without being weepy, and brings just the right amount of grown-man swagger.