New Haven producer FaltyDL released his first full length album for Ninja Tune last year with the excellent Hardcourage. He’s come right back with another album this year with In The Wild, and he continues to build upon the excellent foundation he’s already laid for himself as he explores the avant-garde side of instrumental hip hop and electronic music.
Winter Inter is a San Diego-based producer who is releasing his debut LP with Equal Moving Parts. With it, he is surely about to join the ranks of some of the West Coast’s most creative and talented musicians.
Algorhythms is the duo of emcee Thirtyseven and producer Dr. Quandry, from Vermont and Boston, respectively. The duo first recorded together under this name back in 2008, when they released their self-titled debut album. The project remained somewhat dormant, outside of a few remixes and standalone singles, until now. With their first proper follow up to that album, Algorhythms looks to pick up right where they left off six years ago.
Armand Hammer is the duo of New York emcees Billy Woods and Elucid. They first joined forces to release their debut LP, Race Music, last year. They are already back at it with a new EP, Furtive Moments, a strong and challenging release that already shows sign of significant growth and development for the duo.
Essence is an emcee from Portland, Maine who over the last couple of years has quietly become one of the best in the business. Last fall, she released her excellent sophomore album, An Unseasonable Spring, found her balancing her skills as a battle emcee and a creative artist who wasn’t afraid to explore her deepest fears and insecurities. On her new project, we get a mixtape that feels a bit more classic in its approach, in which I mean that in her words, “consists of me re-doing songs, or me creating songs over industry beats that have yet to have vocals on them.”
It’s been eight years since the last Dilated Peoples album, 20/20. A lot has changed since then, but then again, there’s a lot that hasn’t changed as well. Gone are the days of the major label contract with Capitol, where they always seemed to get pushed to the side and had to rely on the fan base they built on their own. Here are the days of signing with Midwest independent mainstay Rhymesayers, who have already released one solo album with Evidence, along with an album he recorded with The Alchemist as Stepbrothers.
London producer/deejay Buddy Peace has contributed to some of my favorite projects of the last couple of years, including producing Prolyphic’s Working Man last year. His latest project is fairly self-explanatory, as he has reinterpreted one of his favorite albums, Tom Waits’s Mule Variations, as a series of 8-bit compositions he calls Donkey Kong Variations.
Ogiyy is a young producer originally from Kyoto, but now based in Tokyo. With his latest release for French label Cascade Records, he takes us back to the funk and R&B of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s on an album appropriately titled Nostalgia.
The Jazz Jousters is collection of artists brought together by Millennium Jazz Music, a label based in London. The project is spearheaded by Gadget, a producer/emcee who clearly has a great love for hip hop and jazz. Just a cursory glance at the discography lets you see that this series of releases by the Jousters has allowed for Gadget to gather a bunch of artists to get together and pay tribute to and reinterpret the work of jazz musicians like Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, and Thelonius Monk.
H.W. is an emcee from Boston who’s been going strong for several years now. I Only Exist On The Internet marks his first release since 2012, and it’s a welcome return from an emcee who can rock several different styles of hip hop.