Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Lie Low

New Flesh were always a fascinating group. Still rocking today, with their last album probably acting as their most critically acclaimed from early last year, theyve enjoyed a career of low-key cult hits in the UK without ever quite cracking the surface and getting nationwide recognition.

Due to the slightly off-kilter beats provided by Part 2, the unorthodox rhymes by Juice Aleem and manic style of Toastie Taylor, theyve laid down a sound so individual that it both sets them apart and endears.

Big Dada Recordings have always been a record label that have pushed the envelope in alternative hip-hop - their hip-hop roster includes mentalist Infinite Livez, avantgarde instrumentalists CloudDEAD, and UK legend Roots Manuva. New Flesh were a perfect group for them to sign, with the now almost prerequisite Caribbean dub sounds prevalent in a massive portion of UK trad. rap.

Here are their first two albums. The first while they were still called 'New Flesh For Old' before they dropped the suffix was a much overlooked rare album that didnt get much shine but set down their blueprint sound beautifully. The second..."Understanding" was their big break, with some hot singles such as "Communication" featuring Blackalicious emcee Gift Of Gab, "Stick N Move" featuring longtime collaborator Robotic E.B.U. and "Mack Facts".

Enjoy both and check out both their third album from last year and Juice Aleem's recent solo effort. They will not disappoint.

New Flesh For Old - Equilibrium

01 00.00.00
02 Invisible Ink
03 Addration of Kings
04 Eye of The Hurricane
05 A World In Satan’s Ear
06 186000 Miles
07 Mutatis
08 Answer of Action
09 Quantum Mechanix
10 Minutes Less
11 Song for San Susi
12 Isoteleportation
13 Ego Evident
14 Heaven & Earth
15 Thetawaves
16 01.01.00

New Flesh - Understanding

01 Move Slow feat. Beans (Anti-Pop Consortium)
02 Zero Gravity
03 More Fire
04 Norbert & Cecil feat. Roots Manuva as Cecil Pimpernel
05 Stick & Move feat. Robotic E.B.U. (Gamma)
06 Real Child Soldier
07 Communicate feat. Gift of Gab (Blackalicious)
08 Bound
09 Transition feat. Gwen Esty
10 His-Stories Crockery feat. Ramm:ell:zee
11 Aspirations
12 Mack Facts feat. Ramm:ell:zee
13 Do You Understand? (What Will Be...)

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Welcome To The World Of Dusty Vinyl

Lewis Parker. Arguably Britain’s greatest ever beatmaker. He has consistently stuck to his guns throughout his career since the release of Jedi Antiks back in the mid 90s. Crackling feedback, organic beatloops, an ear for finding the perfect sample - Parker has, in my opinion, laid down the blueprint for the perfect song.

It came as no surprise to me that he was eventually picked up and contacted by some prominent US artists, most notably Ghostface Killah for the song ‘Shakey Dog’ from his LP Fishscale, to create some audible gold.

Parker has a career spanning over 15 years at the top of his game, with each album brilliant in its own right (even his mixtapes and beat CDs are a joy to listen to), and its great to see the man succeed on his own terms.

Its very rare in this current climate of hip hop (read: ringtones outselling albums, Soulja Boy outselling everyone (!) and musicianship out the window) that a producer from Parker’s mould would succeed without changing his sound. You won’t find any Swizz Beatz casio sounds here, no sir.

Anyway, posturing aside, and me declaring all out love for the fellow, this guy is basically incredible on the beats. Other british producers such as Jehst and Dirty Diggers have undoubtedly been heavily influenced by his style and he's got new material coming out in 2010 in the form of the full-length 'The Puzzle', which was initially earmarked for late 2009 but seems to have been pushed back somewhat. I've enclosed a vid from his new LP here also, but lets go back to union square.

The Mixtape Vol. 1 was released late 2006 as a collection of rare and unreleased tracks, remixes and just select songs spanning his career so far from 1996-2006. Its just chock-full of big songs and even though it doesnt even touch any of his full-length album material, still has a quality second to none.

Lewis Parker - The Mixtape Vol. 1

01. Intro
02. Rise
03. Fake Charades
04. Parker's Siesta
05. New York Skit
06. Don't Forget About Ya Boy
07. International Heat (feat. iTruth)
08. Gettin' Funky (Funky Trouble Pt.1) (feat. Trez)
09. Funky Trouble Pt.2 (feat. Tah Born)
10. Get Ya Hustle On (feat. Tah Born)
11. Love Is Blue(Johnny Johnson & His Bandwagon)
12. Dirt Off Your Shoulder (LP Remix) (feat. Jay-Z)
13. Shakey Dog (feat. Ghostface Killah)
14. Smith Bros. (LP Remix) (feat. Raekwon)
15. Never Gonna Stop(feat. Dynas)
16. Static (feat. Jacky Danz)
17. Incognito (Dirty Card Remix)
18. Sky High (feat. Dynas)
19. End Of The Day(feat. River Nelson & Vex Davortex of The B
20. Anybody (feat. Mr Pressure)
21. Soon 2 B (feat. Mr Pressure)
22. Beautiful Life (feat. River Nelson)
23. What The Ancients Say (Remix)
24. Intensity (feat. T.R.A.C. aka Terry Nickels)

And finally, here is that vid from the fortcoming LP 'The Puzzle'. Lets hope its released soon.

F**k it okay, I'll put a few classic Parker tracks up aswell. You've twisted my arm.

Skull Candy

I'll be using this blog a bit more from time to time just to vent and write witty or not so witty diatribes aswell as dropping some links. Its odd really. The reason I stopped updating here in the first place was mainly just because I got a full-time job with less than desirable working hours and it just took up most of my time.

As I've gone on in that job I've just got more and more bored with it, leading me to hate the job and subsequently give me the thirst for writing again. Always a silver lining to everything I suppose....

Anyway, for now lets just get a few albums up to get things back on track. Back to the UK business, here's two albums/mixtapes by respected british vinyl-spinner DJ Skully.

The first, a collaborative effort released back in about 2005 to showcase some new material from K-Lash Your Raasclaat-Neck-Off.

Ricochet Klashnekoff released this album between 'Sagas Of...' and the Joe Budha-produced 'Lionheart' as a stop gap to keep his creativity flowing. I present the mixtape to you now in anticipation of K-Lash's new material which is due out mid-2010. I wait with baited breath personally, as I see him as one of the leading lights of our culture and possibly one of the strongest emcees the UK has to offer. Lionheart would probably sneak into my top 10 favourite UK rap albums of all time aswell.

"Focus Mode" is a mixtures of new tracks interspersed with some freestyles and beat-jacking, and its entertaining from beginning to end.

DJ Skully Presents...Klashnekoff - Focus Mode (2005)
1. Intro
2. Focus mode
3. Ya Wrong (Special)
4. McWaffle Presents..
5. Mr K-Lash
6. Jamrock Takeover
7. Get Down
8. Zero 2005
9. No Games
10. Black Rose Revisited
11. Son Of Niya - Featuring Sizzla (Dub Special)
12. Channel K...
13. Jankroville 2005
14. Smack Down Dub
15. Revolution
16. Raw Tings
17. No Escape
18. Back In The Game
19. Let It Go
20. You
21. F** The Long Talk
22. Jah Bles
23. Traces
24. Nightbreed/Outro

The second Skully effort is Champion Sounds, a 2003 release showcasing his skills and the collection of various hot songs from the period. Skully doesn't limit himself to one style, with a couple of stateside tracks from the likes of Canibus and Celph Titled mixed in with UK stalwarts like Jehst, Tommy Evans, Lewis Parker and so on. The album serves as a compilation as much as a solo DJ set, with a lot of the tracks fully created for the album exclusively. However, its Skully's finishing touches that add to the groove both musically and through turntablism.

DJ Skully - Champion Sounds (2003)

1. Intro - Skully
2. Components Of Competition - Unleashed By Science & Skully
3. Champion Sounds Special - Headkrack
4. Take Risks - Maylay Sparks
5. Word Play - Royalty & Mikey Starr
6. Ay Yo (I'm Here Now) - Skriblah & Lewis Parker
7. Escape To Victory - Canibus
8. Turntable Science - Celph Titled & Skully
9. Moving Target - ARE & Headkrack
10. B 4 U Die (The Burial) - Joe Buhdha & Terrafirma
11. Feelings - Est'elle
12. It Feels Good - Harmonic 33 & MCM
13. Junkie For Beatz - Danny Breaks
14. Good To Know - Divine Mind & BI/Loose Kannon/Mikchek/DT
15. This Life - LPD
16. Nouveau Riche - Jehst & Tommy Evans

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Apache: An Obituary

Less of an obituary, more just an homage to his great solo release following his passing away on January 22, 2010. Usually this is a strictly UK hip-hop site (or at least it was until I stopped posting on it over a year ago - more on me trying to get this running again in a bit) but when events like these occur I can make some exceptions.

I always loved the seminal track 'Gangsta Bitch' from when I was a youth and when the blog boom hit and sites all over the net became great suppliers of rare and old hip-hop albums I found his album about a decade ago.

Sure, the single was a standout, but its amazing how much Apache's album (from 1991 believe it or not) has stood the test of time. The horns on the single, the cuts and blasts on the album track 'Apache Ain't Shit', the bass on 'Make Money'. Its all classic 90s.

The former Flavor Unit emcee succumbed to an illness earlier this month but his music will live on at least on my stereo. I won't try and patronise the visitors to this site in going back through his life's work as I'm sure most people who have got this far may already have snatched this from much more note-worthy blogs. For those that slept though...here it is. RIP Apache.

Apache - Apache Ain't Shit (1991)

1. The Beginning 1:20
2. Tonto 4:16
3. Do Fa Self 3:19
4. Gangsta Bitch 4:45
5. A Fight 3:31
6. Kill D'White People 0:17
7. Hey Girl 3:38
8. Apache Ain't Shit 3:40
9. Blunted Snap Session 2:43
10. Who Freaked Who 3:42
11. Get Ya Weight Up 3:55
12. Woodchuck 4:23
13. Make Money 3:01
14. Wayz Of A Murderahh 3:16