Created by 20Syl, member of C2C and founder of the Hocus Pocus hip hop group. I especially love this because the Akai MPC 2000XL (a vintage drum machine that I’ve had since 2008) is featured so prominently.
Format Archives: Video
Fez is an independent game released in 2012 that I never got around to playing. Now that I have, I am blown away by the soundtrack, which was entirely produced by a guy from Oakland working under the moniker “Disasterpeace”. Video game soundtracks are almost always entirely forgettable, but there are some notable exceptions like Fez and Hotline Miami.
With the game Fez featuring a colorful pixel-based art style, you would expect the soundtrack to conform to a retro game aesthetic. But it comes closer to sounding like a video game interpretation of the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis, with bright synths and heavy reverb which gives the overall sound a dream-like quality. It also sounds like Boards of Canada.
Two other songs which I really enjoyed on this soundtrack are Flow and Beacon, also on Youtube along with the full album. This is a game I have really enjoyed so I expect that I will write a review of it when I’ve completed the game.
Three years after I started listening to Action Bronson and he remains as much a figurehead of wacky creativity in hip hop as he was then. This song is the first single from his upcoming album, titled Mr. Wonderful. The lyrical presentation of this song is in his established style, which is to say, it’s completely off the wall.
As usual, this video is just fun, and discards many of the tired conventions of rap. The music production, as in all of his music, is unconventional, funk and rock-influened, and oozes character.
An obese blue-eyed, red-bearded Albanian trekking cross country on a chopper, hallucinating on LSD while rapping. Amazing, and roughly in-line with everything else that this guy does.
I feel like I’ve slowly grown into Donald Glover’s rap persona, Childish Gambino. A good friend who’s knowledgeable on hip hop recently said to me that he likens him to a Drake who can’t sing or rap as well, but I see it a little differently: he’s clearly not singularly focused on rap or the rap lifestyle, but he has oddball charm to spare.
On his most recent album, Because the Internet, which Sweatpants appears on, he was songwriter, producer, and performer. Outside of being a singer, rapper, and record producer, he also has acting, standup comedy, and television writing careers.
Years ago I met a Chinese live visual artist named Miao Jing. At the time he was a student at an art university in Chongqing transitioning from painting to interactive media, and we did about 20 shows together across Western China.
As of a year ago, one Miao Jing has moved to NYC and has been setting up and maintaining art galleries and exhibitions in the city. This is the latest one, in collaboration with the Columbia University Arts Initiative, is called Infinite 115.
Needless to say, this is amazing work and Miao Jing has progressed very far from when I first met him. But I still have a framed painting of his from 2008 hanging on the wall in my living room. A portrait of a surviving child of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Last night a UK reggae MC named Tippa Irie performed in Chengdu at a local performance venue called Here We Go. Although I listen to a lot of reggae, I had never heard of Tippa Irie before – judging from the people I’ve spoken to and Wikipedia, it seems that he was most well-known during the 1980’s and 1990’s in England. His performance was very good though, and it’s been a few years since I performed as an opener when the legendary Jamaican record producer Clive Chin came to Chengdu on tour of China. Before that one of my most memorable reggae performances I’ve seen was Jah Faith & Family Tree at Dub Club in Echo Park, Los Angeles.
Of all the songs that Tippa Irie performed last night, this one (“Rebels on the Roots Corner”) was easily my favorite. Brilliant production by Mad Professor on this track.
Read about Tippa Irie on Wikipedia
These days I’m always looking for modern hip hop produced in an esoteric, nostalgic, distinctly East Coast style. Underachievers fit that criteria perfectly.
If you didn’t know, The Underachievers are a Brooklyn-based rap duo founded in 2011 who embrace the 1990’s sonic palette of NYC hip hop. They’ve only released a pair of mixtapes but both are laced with this style of sample-heavy, boom bap, jazz-oriented music. First studio album coming in May 2014, which I’m looking forward to. Almost as much as Action Bronson in 2014.
Read about The Underachievers on Wikipedia.
American indie rock band Broken Bells released their second studio album today, a follow up to their 2010 self-titled debut album. I’ve been listening to this and Beck’s new album Morning Phase on repeat for several days now. I can already tell that these are going to be two of my favorite albums of 2014 – they’re both amazing.
Read about Broken Bells on Wikipedia.