Saturday, 6 November 2010


ALOC BLACC - GOOD THINGS (Stones Throw) Double LP £18

You might've seen this dapper fella on Later...With Jools Holland last week. Very good he was too, nice smooth danceable soul.

This album marks a shift in methodology from personal to political for Aloe Blacc, who refers to the project as his report on present conditions - the misappropriation of wealth, pillaging of resources, universal lack of compassion, and the struggle to survive. 

Ethereal production from Truth & Soul’s Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman mask a foreboding undercurrent in which Aloe Blacc crafts thought provoking lyrics. Nowhere is this more evident than on hit lead single ‘I Need A Dollar’.

As usual, top notch stuff from Stones Throw.


Madlib, J Dilla, Peanut Butter Wolf...does modern hip hop get much better than this I wonder? It's a few years old (2003) but it still sounds fresh. 17 tracks from arguably some of the best producers of the last ten years. Features guests Guilty Simpson, Talib Kweli, Quasimoto (who is actually Madlib's alter ego), Percee Pee and Frank-N-Dank. Any fan of modern hip hop that wants to hear boundaries being pushed should invest in this. Again, Stones Throw, what can I say?

GUILTY SIMPSON - OJ SIMPSON (Stones Throw) Double LP £18

OK, yes, it's another disc from Stones Throw. So here's the blurb this time:

Producer Madlib + MC Guilty Simpson = OJ Simpson. No blood-stained gloves or slo-mo freeway pursuits, just hard-hitting, straight-from-the-gutter hip hop tracks featuring Guilty’s inimitable baritone, and an equal number of Madlib’s signature album-as-soundtrack/radio/sideshow arrangements, where the beat and sequence is as important as the rap. 

This, with a couple no-nonsense guest appearances, some cuts by J. Rocc, and a whole bunch of attitude, makes up one of the best underground hip hop projects in a long while. The charisma that Detroit’s heavy hitting MC Guilty Simpson and the LA-based Beat Konducta Madlib share testifies to a musical kinship that is rare in today’s rapper-as-an-accessory marketplace. Going back to Guilty’s first appearance on wax (Jaylib’s ‘Strapped’ in 2003), Guilty over a Madlib beat is like hearing Guru over Premier circa ‘Daily Operation’, or CL over Pete around the time of ‘Straighten It Out’. Some times, an ill rapper and a dope producer just work that well together.

DEAD SKELETONS - DEAD MANTRA (A Records) Etched one-sided 10" £8

This is flying out already.

Released on Anton Newcombe’s own record label , this 10 minute one side etched 10” has already receiving airplay on BBC Radio 6 & Dead TV to name a few places. The Dead Skeletons are a Velvet Underground for the 21st century: idiosyncratic and forever skating on the edge of the void; scared of nothing and appreciative of everything. 

The Dead Skeletons are of many worlds but currently - luckily for us - they camp out on planet earth. Their 2009 track "Dead Mantra" became a huge hit on the internet and gained something of a cult following in the uk after it was played regularly at Alan McGee's "Death Disco" club in London. Members are Nonni Dead & Henrik Björnsson and guests (the Monks of the Dead Temple). Their first single "Dead Mantra" includes artists Ryan Carlson Van Kriedt & Aislinn Van Kriedt.


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