Jul 31, 2018
"Climbing out the mud 'til we see the grass."
- Superbad Solace
A great month for Manchester music on multiple fronts has made it a busy time, and it's been great to see people coming out and supporting the scene. This episode's selection includes a couple of fire new tracks out of the city, and while the bulk of the mix is Hip-Hop, we find time for some modern soul and even some blues to round thing off!
Dates for your diary;
GZA @ Joshua Brooks, Sept 2nd
Beatnuts @ The Whiskey Jar, Sept 19th
Children of Zeus, Band On The Wall, Nov 23rd
Twitter : @airadam13
Phonte : Expensive Genes
A short and poignant number from the "No News Is Good News" album. As a Black man entering middle age (I can relate), Phonte considers how a combination of genetics, environment, and dietary choices will affect the upcoming years of life. I don't think I've ever heard this being tackled half as well, and certainly not so succinctly.
Takuya Kuroda : R.S.B.D (TBG Rise And Fall Remix)
This Japanese jazzman released his debut, "Bitter and High" on CD Baby back in 2010, and he's already five albums in with his own brand of trumpet wizardry. Tall Black Guy turns his hand here to remixing the opener from Kuroda's 2016 "Zigzagger" LP, putting in the bump that is so much a trademark of his.
Children of Zeus : 360°
"*****, you clap when the plane lands!" will never not be funny :) At long last, the debut Children of Zeus album, "Travel Light" has arrived; the buzz is crazy, and with good reason. A tightly-crafted soulful collection, it's my strong purchase recommendation for this month! This track sees the lyrical pairing of Tyler and Konny talking relationship drama over a slightly warped beat from Sebb Bash which, like the rest of the LP, sounds great on a good system.
Amerie : Talkin' To Me (Mark Ronson Sunshine Remix)
A longtime favourite, this remix works a classic soul sample to great effect, Mark Ronson chopping it up nicely. Amerie released the original on her 2002 "All I Have" album (with Rich Harrison on production), but this remix is available on 12".
Superbad Solace : Patina
As a Hip-Hop head and a watch enthusiast, I 100% co-sign this song. Building from a different part of the song sampled in the Amerie track, this is my favourite cut from the seven-song album "Sol Controller". You may know Solace as half of the Queens duo Timeless Truth, and he blesses the beat from fellow NY native Mono En Stereo with pure city flavour.
Noveliss : Above The Rim
Clear Soul Forces member Noveliss spitting a classic 90s film reference (amongst other things) over a knocking Ilajide beat. These guys can be relied on for quality! You can hear this one in context as the closing track on the anime-influenced 2016 "Mic Swordz" EP.
[J-Zone] Sadat X : X Is A Machine (Instrumental)
Not every MC had the skills or sense of experimentation to ride a J-Zone beat, but some of the greats did and Sadat X did the business on the "Black October" album. Thanks to the release of Zone's "The Headband Years" instrumental compilation, we can now enjoy this and other tracks without MCs, to really appreciate his skills!
Ilajide : Heatin' Up
I rate this tune from "Heet Tape" so much, especially as an original-era fan of the game from which the samples are drawn! Ilajide's beat slaps like it's putting proper hip rotation into the move, and the cutting up of the "heating up" voice clip makes me glad that things like Serato exist.
Voodoo Black : Clap Click
It's surprisingly hard to make an all-percussion/drum track interesting, but Manchester's Voodoo Black certainly do that with their new single. Sparkz, Ellis Meade, and Dubbul O (shutting it down at the end) take a verse each over the Sparkz and Ellis Meade beat-only beat :) Also - make sure you check the video!
Above The Law ft. Ha Ha L.O.C : Be About Yo Bizniz
RIP KMG - still stuns me there'll never be any more of his gravelly tones on wax. I decided to dig for an album track that I don't often play myself, and came up with this one from the "Legends" album - also available as the B-side of "The Streets" 12". KMG takes the first (and best) verse over a Cold 187um beat.
Large Pro : Sewin' Love
No longer looking at the front door, Large Professor comes with a song for the special person in his life. It was hard to find a good sonic match for the preceding record but when I heard this again while giving the "Main Source" album a run, it jumped out as a good pick.
[Rob Lewis] Nine : Lyin' King (Instrumental)
I played the vocal version of this many moons ago on the podcast - use the search function to go back and find the episode :) I got this on a promo 12", but there is an official release, and you can always cop the "Cloud 9" album to get the vocal.
Diamond D ft. John Dough : Flowin'
The first full track on Diamond's sophomore release "Hatred, Passions, and Infidelity" has been a longtime favourite. I do wish there was one more count before the beat comes in though - should have just edited/juggled one in! Classic boom-bap drums over a beautiful light sample I never would have stumbled on. This album is definitely due for a couple more visits on the show :)
Black Thought ft. Rapsody : Dostoyevsky
"Streams of Thought, Vol.1" is an essential new release for anyone who studies pure bars, and the first solo project from an MC who has been on the scene since 1993. Thought has been one of the best in the artform for a long time, and those who slept were woken up by his dazzling freestyle on Funkmaster Flex' show last year. After Barry Michael Cooper once told him during an interview he was the "hip-hop Dostoyevsky", Thought decided to try and bring some of the wisdom of the famed philosopher to a track! 9th Wonder has the drums cracking all over this one as Thought weaves his lyrical magic alongside the ice-cold Rapsody, who fans of the podcast should absolutely be getting to know by now.
Redman : Ya!
"New Redman single" are three words that should amp up any Hip-Hop fan! Mike & Keys from Futuristikz supply a banging beat for Redman to remind you who he is and how he gets down, just so you can be warmed up for the release of "Muddy Waters Too" next year :)
Supastition ft. Seven : Blood Brothers
Supastition was one of the artists who came out in the early-2000s emergence of the North Carolina Hip-Hop scene, spearheaded by Little Brother. His debut LP, "Chain Letters" features production from some of the best producers who debuted at the time, like M-Phazes, Jake One, and Illmind - who produced this cut. It's a wicked beat, and Supastition plus his guest Seven (who I can't find much info about) are in full sucker MC slaying mode, with punchlines galore over the length of the track. If you like it, the album is definitely worth checking.
[Alchemist] Curren$y : Ventilation (Instrumental)
Eric Bibb : What's He Gonna Say Today?
I was first introduced to Eric Bibb's music when I heard him playing support for Michael McDonald in Manchester recently. No band, no machines, no tricks, just him in the spotlight with his voice and a guitar, killing it. I picked up the "Migration Blues" album the same night and have been checking him out on Spotify too - which had the happy effect of Spotify then recommending this new single to me! It's a great description of the despair/exasperation that #45/Dirty Don/Baby Hands engenders with his general poor conduct...
Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!