Has it really been five years since their debut album? It seems like not that long ago, the trio of Oddisee, yU, and X.O. came together to drop In the Ruff. Since that time, the three D.C. artists have been working steadily on their solo careers, releasing some of the strongest albums of the 2010s. Well, everything finally lined up to get the thrio back together, and they slid right back into place, and they make their sophomore album even better than their first.
There aren’t too many people that you could describe as a hip hop cellist, but Marina Quaisse has established herself as just that through her contributions to Wax Tailor. Of course, there is much more to her than only that, and people will soon learn if they don’t already know. Right now, though, she seeks to establish herself as a solo artist with her first LP, The Legend of Sirena.
Amp Live is the production half of the Bay Area duo, Zion I, who have been going strong for over fifteen years. His latest solo effort, Headphone Concerto, just came out on Plug Research. It's a complex, genre-bending effort with a list of guest artists a mile long. While on tour in Madison, he took the time to talk to us about this project, and what lies ahead for him.
Scratched Vinyl: You just released the album, Headphone Concerto.
The last time we heard from French producer Electroom Acoostap was when he released Black Host on Cascade Records back in April of this year. Now he’s back with another EP, this time working with My Bags to release Big Bad Blues.
Earlier this year, Brighton producer Mute Speaker took a trip to Cambodia, where he spent about a month collecting records and field recordings. This album is the result of Mute Speaker taking some of his favorite finds from the Golden Age of Cambodian pop music, which he defines as the ‘60s through 1975, and flipping those samples into some new instrumental hip hop.
German Label Jakarta Records has brought us some pretty interesting projects over the years, and have introduced international audiences to a lot of different artists from different parts of the world. The EP Low Jams is no exception, as it pairs Oslo emcee Ivan Ave with Los Angeles producer Mndsgn. The pairing is interesting, as are the results.
Toronto emcee/producer Relic dropped an EP last fall entitled IGolden, which was meant to pay respects to the Golden Era of hip hop. While I’m not fond of the revisionist history of referring to one golden era in hip hop (I believe there have been several), this was clearly meant to refer to the early ‘90s era of hip hop, which was obviously a big influence on him as reflected by his music. The EP itself was good, and demonstrated the work of an artist who has put in the time to craft some thoughtful hip hop.
WC TANK is one of the hidden gems of the Midwest. There are plenty that aren’t familiar with the multi-faceted Milwaukee artist, but when you run across someone who’s familiar with his work, they will go on and on about all of the different interesting products he’s produced over the years. He’s done great video work, making music videos for the likes of milo and Open Mike Eagle, and I’ve been fortunate enough to catch a live performance that was completely improvised electronic music and lyrics built around an old diary of his that he had recently discovered.
Brooklyn producer Willie Green is one busy dude. When he’s not mastering, engineering, and producing for other artists, he manages to create some of the most exciting and interesting hip hop on his own. Look no further than last year’s brilliant We Live in the Future, which found its way onto Scratched Vinyl’s Top Ten of 2013. Now he’s back with a short instrumental project entitled Rebel Queen.