Sunday, 21 March 2010
Northern Author's The Brew Vol. I
I always feel a little guilty uploading full albums of people’s work, especially if its fairly recent and I’m always aware of my place in the music game (virtually insignificant in terms of promotion but can provide free music to anyone). I know the music always comes first and know that taking away a an artist’s music is taking away his money at the end of the day.
So…lets turn over a new leaf, wipe my arse with the usual LP drops (which may still surface every now and then don’t worry…they’ll just be few and far between) and get cracking with the nacking on something new.
I’m not a DJ. I can’t mix. I’m not a rapper (even though I can rap…albeit quite badly). I do write songs but theyre all crap and my mild middle class half-geordie accent doesn’t give my voice the same impact as Rock from Heltah Skeltah to say the least…………
I am a fan. I’m no better than the sexy c*nts reading my website and I won’t ever profess to be, despite my holier-than-thou writing style I can adopt.
As a fan I have my taste in music. Its different to yours, maybe in subtle ways, maybe massively different. But its mine. I thought “let’s give other people a taste of me”. Then I paid the prostitute for the blowjob, came home and thought about hip-hop (wahey!).
Here’s my take on hip-hop. Its going to be a mix of US, UK, Bangladeshi, Papua New Guinea and Pluto rap. Its going to be as old as the wrinkles on a pensioner’s scrotum and as new as a baby with the umbilical cord still attached. Its going to be as big as Lola Ferrari’s bangers but probably reach an audience as small as a button mushroom penis.
I have guilty pleasures, some artist you may not associate with this blog’s modus operandi, some familiar names, some unknowns. I have rarities and bootleg tracks thrown in, some songs as common as muck. I’ll try and stay away from the classics and very VERY well known tracks because to be honest you can find them anywhere, and when inputting a simple google search for let’s say “Live At The Barbecue” par example, I highly doubt this particular modest blog will be the first result.
Its really just me, making a compilation. Giving it to you. No slant, no gimmicks, no theme. Just download, add boiling water and drop in a teabag (milk optional). Sip it you bitch.
So…I’m going to make a brew. Anyone want one?
Northern Author's The Brew Vol. I (March 2010)
1. Metermaids - Blackout Baby
To start off the first volume here is some brand new material from NY-based duo The Metermaids, a group who have definitely received love on the internet through free downloads and their debut EP (from which this is lifted) and now are making the transition to love worldwide. This is a sharp introduction over rock-influenced beats to the group and a sign of great things to come.
2. The Closers - Get Down Or Lay Down (feat. Blaq Poet)
A new group comprised of Shabaam Sahdeeq, Redeye & Thorotracks, The Closers have released a very impressive first LP with classic east-coast grit. This track features Year Round (DJ Premier) artist Blaq Poet lacing an orchestrated beat with New York style and panache. Look out for the mixtape “The Bullpen Sessionz” hosted by the legendary DJ Scratch as its well worth a download.
3. Tajai - Raindance (Remix)
Lifted from the 2005 Hiero compilation “Hiero Imperium Presents…The Corner”, this remix produced by Elon.is urinates upon the original from high as the part-time member of the legendary Souls of Mischief goes in on a brooding track in an inimitable Hieroglyphics style.
4. Gorillaz - White Flag (feat. Kano & Bashy)
From the massive new album ‘Plastic Beach’ which will inevitably be flying off the shelves at all HMVs nationwide, this track is easily the most high profile on the mix. My interest in this one lies with the guest emcees, as Damon Albarn drafts in Kano and Bashy to trade verses over a musical backdrop created by erm…The Lebanese National Orchestra. Yeah. Not joking either. Anyway, its completely different to anything Kano OR Bashy (thank god its different in his case) have done before and its great to hear them spread their wings to different musical planets.
5. Ghost, Kashmere The Iguana Man & DPF - Flip It
Taken from Breakin Bread (Disorda and co.)’s album “dirtybeatbreakinfunkandhiphop”, this song is a personal favourite of mine from years back. Ghost, a criminally overlooked producer who has been responsible for some of the smoothest, realest beats in UK hip-hop’s lifetime, creates another stonker of a track for two great emcees to spar on. At the time both Kashmere and DPF were hardly household names, but both had built up reps from debut singles and EPs, however, they sound like veterans on this track, which is pretty much a song capturing the very essence of hip-hop and rolling all of it onto one 3 minute extravaganza.
6. Slum Village - Dope Man
SV are back and at the tail end of 2009 they released an EP titled Villa Manifesto. Considering the group’s legendary status it was another one that crept under the radar and got lost in the shuffle. “Dope Man” is the best track from the EP and even features a posthumous verse from Baatin, who tragically died in 2009, leaving T3 as the only original member still alive from the legendary group.
7. Mystik Journeymen - Anthill (feat. Kirby Dominant)
Another set of veterans who have recently dropped an EP is the Mystik Journeymen, members of the Living Legends crew along with others such as Murs, The Grouch & Eligh. MJ have been away a long time and as a personal fan of their brilliant album “The Black Sands Ov Eternia” from back in 1999, I’ve been waiting for this for AGES. The EP isnt exactly radio-friendly (not that you’d expect that from Sunspot Jonz and his crew) but BFAP and Luckyiam have crafted some great other-wordly underground shit that will keep your ears ringing.
8. Philly’s Most Wanted - Dust Ya Boots
A strange choice I know, but Philly’s Most are a group I think got a bit of a raw deal to be honest. Their debut back in the early 2000s came out with major label backing and with production entirely handled by The Neptunes (JUST before they became the biggest producer name in the world) and T-Mix from Suavehouse, yet still never garnered much media attention. I actually liked that album and to this day still think some of Hugo/Williams hardest beats are on there, so on the strength of that when I saw the follow-up going on the cheap I picked it up. “Ring The Alarm” was hardly a classic but it had its moments, and this track is one I’ve came back to a couple of times over the years. Not heard anything from Boobonic & Mr. Man since.
9. K-Os - 4, 3, 2, 1
I have to admit. K-Os is one of my favourite artists. Everytime there’s a gap between his releases I seem to forget about him but everytime I hear a K-Os track it just reminds me how good this guy really is. I highly doubt I’ll need to introduce you to him as he’s had hits in abundance on the rap scene. All four of his albums have been at the very least “8 out of 10” quality and last year’s “Yes” was no different. Don’t sleep on Canada’s best export since Iain Hume signed for Tranmere Rovers.
10. Camp Lo - Black Connect III
What can I say about Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede that hasn’t already been said. No-one knows what theyre on about, yet everyone is fascinated by them! A rap style like no other with beats produced by Ski (a man who has more classics to his name than most other ignored producers I can think of) is a match made in heaven and these guys have been pumping out blaxploitation on wax since their Luchini days.
11. Orphans Of Cush - Warheadz
I posted my thoughts on the Orphans of Cush album “White Noize” not too long back, and even now I still maintain that it’s the best UK hip-hop LP of the last year. Masikah, Cyrus Malachi, Kyza & Melanin9 have created one of the rawest collections since the police dug up Fred West’s patio. Warheadz is just straight up gutter rap, and with the hard beats in place, Cush are all about the three things I love the most in hip-hop: Lyrics, Rhymes, Flow.
12. Diversion Tactics - Twelve Steps
Released to not much fanfare at the turn of the year, Diversion Tactics’ “Careful On The Way Up” LP had some gems on it rooted clearly in the UK scene. Twelve Steps draws upon their usual influences of breaks and jazz sounds and sees Jazz T, Zygote and the Chubby Alcoholic at their simple but effective best.
13. Endemic - Three Kings (feat. Hell Razah, Melanin 9 & Kevlaar 7)
We’ve already had one appearance by Melanin9 here, but down to producer Endemic’s top notch album “Terminal Illness” we have another. He joins Sunz Of Man illumini Hell Razah and Kevlaar7 on a posse cut which shines on the Nottingham born beatsmith’s debut. I recommend that LP to anyone whoo enjoys hip-hop, and with appearances by Sean Price, Planet Asia, Killah Priest and other Orphans Of Cush members, you really can’t go wrong. On another note is Needle Drop EP with fellow Nottingham dweller Cappo is fantastic.
14. Sway - Konvict (Freestyle)
I couldn’t really drop ANY compilation right now without giving Sway a shoutout. His Delivery mixtape has pretty much blown any other mixtape released in the past year out of the water, and he has improved his flow and rhymes so much since his last outing that its impossible to write him off for massive success in the future. I could have chosen any track from it really but went for this smoothed out freestyle just because he outlines his ambition to be the UK’s best…something we all expect him to be very very soon. If you havent already got the mixtape, you really should be ashamed of yourself!
15. D.O.E. - Rollin’ (feat. Timbaland & Lil’ Jon)
Possibly another strange inclusion out of leftfield, but it’s a song I’ve loved since I first heard it. Timbaland’s fall from grace can be documented quite easily from his glory days producing a classic pretty much every week in the early 2000s to now, where he produces pop-garbage for Hannah Montana and Katy Perry. It breaks my fucking heart it does! Right now lets forget about that and remember him for his ability to create genre-bending and trend-setting beats that could make ANYONE sound like the best emcee on the planet. This song was from 2006, and the debut track from the “blink-and-he-was-gone” emcee John Doe. Since Beat Club was wrapped up and Timbo went onto bigger (but not better) things, Doe was dropped and left to rot in industry limbo, but before he was done he was part of one amazing track.
16. Freeway & Jake One - African Drums
Anyone who knows me will have heard me waxing lyrical on how brilliant Philly freezer and Jake One’s Stimulus Package album is. Its my favourite album of 2010 so far by a country mile, and has so many highlights. This track however, is a recently leaked song which didn’t quite make the cut for the album, but despite that it still keeps the same sound that made the album so great. Great beats, great rhymes, a great marriage of two artists at the top of their game.
17. E-40 - Behind Gates (feat. Ice Cube)
Yeah I listen to 40 Water, what of it?! I know artists like E-40 don’t usually get a great reception in the UK, and their appeal in the US doesn’t always translate, but E-40 is one artist I’ve always had a fascination with. His slang-creating past has trail-blazed a lot of hip-hop’s modern speech and he has represented the Bay Area scene for almost two decades now. This track features none other than Ice Cube and was from the 2000 release “Loyalty & Betrayal” and quite frankly, the beat is a monster.
18. Gary Bartz - Gentle Smiles
Some might not know the name or this particular song….but EVERYONE will know the sample. The chorus’ horn section forms the memorable hook sample in A Tribe Called Quest’s “Butter”, Phife’s ode to something other than margerine. This song is a classic in its own right, and despite its age, still sounds as fresh, sexy and cool as it would of when first recorded.
19. Klashnekoff - Runnin Thru Da Rain (feat. K9 & Ric)
BRAND NEW K-Lash! Klashnekoff released this cat out of the bag himself through his twitter account in late February and it’s a great sign of what we should expect from his upcoming mixtape “Back to the Sagas”. With this song and “Paper Up” both sounding incredible, the rest will surely continue his rich vein of form and follow his two classic albums and one good mixtape with yet another good release.
20. Skeme - Turning
An oldie-but-goodie from the Titan Sounds stable, Skeme made this track way way back in the year 2000 as part of Titan Sounds’ record label compilation “The Introduction”, and it stole the show. A nice vocal sample and a great bassline sets the mood for the last sip of your first brew. Come back to enjoy the next one.
Here's the link again: Northern Author's The Brew Vol. I (March 2010)