Apr 30, 2017
"Studying my sickness like the Tuskegee Experiment."
In a world with all kinds of options for DJs, there's a lot to be said for just two turntables, a mixer, and some crates!
This month's show has more new releases than the average episode, including some local heat. We also have a track from the late Guru (RIP always), and one or two of my headphone favourites finally coming out into the light!
Upcoming Manchester shows mentioned;
Sean Price : Definition Of God
It's a shame to think that all the Sean Price tracks we'll ever hear are already out in the world somewhere. On this posthumously-released single from this March, Sean blasts the Stu Bangas instrumental with his trademark mixture of rapping dexterity and casual, disrespectful brutality. I know I'm not alone in looking forward to the "Imperius Rex" LP - this is is right up my alley!
Ilajide : Dance Of The Psudo
Ilajide is the man behind the boards for the brilliant Clear Soul Forces, but he's also putting out some very good solo material that's definitely worth your attention! This is a burner from "Five Week Heet III", one of the lead-ups to the "Heet Tape" album release.
Tribeca : Wheel Of Fortune
A favourite of mine for years which I finally got a legit copy of (from the "Subway Series Vol.1" compilation) thanks to the modern convenience of digital purchase! Self-produced as always, the Bronx MC and MPC-batterer tells a tale of a dice game gone very wrong over a fitting 70s sample and some punching drums & bass. I won't give the sample away - to be fair, it's not a hard one to discern - but I do like the way it's been used. Using a three-bar segment for the title breakdown is awkward for a DJ, but it does sound good :)
Rapsody : Kingship
Making a return visit to Rapsody's "She Got Game" mixtape for a short and sweet cut with the legendary DJ Premier. Rapsody has one of those bell-clear voices that works so well for an MC, and lyrics to go along with it. Apparently Premo once tried to give this beat to Ludacris, but it was a little too experimental for him to do anything with!
KING : Red Eye (DJ Spinna Blissed-Out Remix)
My man Agent J from Groovement was up on this three-woman group out of Los Angeles very early, but I'm just getting up to speed on their 2016 debut "We Are King" now. It's a high-quality, ambient-flavoured R&B album with its own kind of flavour, and hopefully it's just a taste of the things yet to come! The great DJ Spinna is on the remix here and gives them some extra bass and head-nod drums to take the original "Red Eye" to new heights.
A.D. Carson : Dissertation (Part I The Introduction)
This project has something of a unique origin, which alone was enough to catch my interest. A.D. Carson was a Ph.D candidate at Clemson University who turned in his dissertation for the Rhetoric, Communication, and Information Design program in an unusual form - a full album. "Owning My Masters : The Rhetoric of Rhymes and Revolutions" is worth a listen on both its musical and academic merits, especially as a "name your price" Bandcamp release. Give a student a few dollars though! This track is a solid opener from the album, and A.D. makes excellent and appropriate use of a sample from "Malcolm X" after the hook.
Pro P : Concrete Jungle
Almost pure drums here from one of Manchester's busiest beatmakers, on this track from the first "Concrete Jungle" beat tape.
Ran Reed ft. Sadat X : The God's Power
Hailing from New Jersey, Ran Reed was one of those guys who put in mad independent work in the mid-90s, with underground 12" releases, guest appearances, and mixtape cuts. Only this year has he finally released his debut album, and while longtime collaborator Nick Wiz contributed several beats, Ran also self-produces many, including this one. A Sadat X guest appearance is always a win, and he provides a nicely contrasting vocal tone.
Children of Zeus : Don't Say A Word
They just keep on killing it. This is the B-side of the "I Can't Wait" 7" and it knocks! Konny Kon and Tyler have a great album in them, and I am 100% here for it whenever it arrives; in the meantime, just follow them and be ahead of the curve.
Raekwon : This Is What It Comes Too (sic)
I couldn't have you thinking that I didn't know which "to" to use :) This is the lead single from Rae's new album "The Wild" (big up Dan Lish on the cover art), the first to have no features from any Wu members whatsoever! Xtreme on the beat, working a classic old-school drum break, and the rhyming is prototypical Raekwon street talk.
Guru ft. Branford Marsalis : Transit Ride
RIP Guru! I definitely wanted to play some Guru this month and was pleased to find a track of his with the same drum break as the preceding cut. He was a pioneer in making links between the Hip-Hop nation and the world of jazz, and the first "Jazzmatazz" was a landmark. Here's another link - Guru and Premier actually lived in Branford Marsalis' house for a while back in the day! That sounds like it could have made for an amazing TV programme :)
Focus : (Entry no.3) CisumovneZ
Georgia's Focus is a beast on the boards. I could happily have played any number of tracks from the "aNALOG iN a dIGITAL wORLD 2" album, but went for this one. I love the manipulation and warping of the beat as the track progresses, with all kinds of stutters and stops - almost like a modern-day, digital version of the Latin Rascals.
Geechi Suede : London Luton
A number clearly inspired by the globetrotting adventures of Camp Lo's Geechi Suede, from the "Fishnet Skyscrapers" mixtape. This one was so long in coming after the release of the single "Ask About Me", I figured it had been shelved altogether - but it finally came out this month. This actual track was recorded/released in 2016 via the Brapp TV platform, and features the production of NYTELIFE, Rexx, and SaL GuoD (all the casing styles there). It's a suitably spacey background for Geechi's abstract freestyling!
Clear Soul Forces : Fan-Ta-Sa-Ro
So talented, it's a bit ridiculous. Detroit's Clear Soul Forces channel the spirit of their hometown heroes Slum Village on this track, as Slum listeners will recognise from the title and the hook. Ilajide supplies the beat, and this tune from their debut "Detroit Revolution(s)" gave just a taste of the great work to come.
J Chambers : Thought From New Mount Street 2
Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Ledisi : Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)
Needed something with a certain kind of flavour to follow up the J Chambers cut and I think I found it with this beautiful piece from Robert Glasper's first "Black Radio" album. Top-notch instrumentation as you might have expected, undergirding the vocals of the exceptionally talented singer/songwriter Ledisi. Oh yeah, she acts too :) This track got a Grammy nomination, and rightly so. The meaning of "F.T.B." is "off the record", according to Glasper, so take your own guess - but it was also the title of the song this is based on, from The Robert Glasper Trio's "In My Element" album.
Beatnuts : Gonna Fly (Inst)
From the old "Hydra Beats 5" collection of instrumentals (one of fourteen), just a head-nodder courtesy of Queens' own Beatnuts, some of the most dedicated diggers in the game.
Nas & DJ Shadow : Systematic
I did not see this collaboration coming! One of the greatest ever to pick up a mic, in combination with a legendary producer...on the soundtrack to the "Silicon Valley" TV series? You could have got great odds on that. The beat is funky at the core with the odd glitchy interjection and some synth bass and FX giving it a contemporary feel. Nas can be counted on to come through with the lyrics, and this track is no exception.
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!