Even though both artists on this project are from Sudan, as of the recording of this EP, they had yet to meet each other in person. Emcee Toofless is from Sharjah, and producer SufYan is from Khartoum. Hopefully, they’ll get to meet and perform together soon, because this EP sounds like the start of something good.
Toonorth is a producer out of Ashland, Oregon, and is part of the Wizards Only beat crew. He hasn’t been releasing music for all that long, but in a short time he managed to get the attention of the British label Collective Resonance. As he makes his debut for the label with this full length album, he also introduces himself to a lot of new listeners.
Low Leaf is a one woman musical project from Los Angeles. She’s been making music for a few years now, releasing a couple of solo projects, along with working with the likes of Flying Lotus. One her latest project, AKASHAALAY, she draws upon her Pilipino heritage as inspiration as she takes us through a musical journey that brings in all sorts of genres of music.
Just a few weeks after dropping his last release, the excellent Yasiin Gaye: The Return, Nashville producer Amerigo Gazaway is already back with another project to drop just in time for the summer. This time it’s the third volume in The Big Payback, a series devoted to remixing the work of James Brown. The first volume was done by DJ Scratch, and the second volume was done by J.Period. This time it’s Gazaway’s turn, and it’s as fun as you might expect.
British duo The Herbaliser released their seventh album, There Were Seven, in 2012 after a four year hiatus. It was an excellent album, and very well received. As they toured, though, they came to realize just how much the way musicians connect with each other had changed. As they traveled and performed, they connected with a myriad of fans and fellow musicians that they had first made contact with online. This remix project was born as they came to know a new generation of producers, deejays, emcees, and other musicians.
Are we really on album 12 already? It feels like just yesterday that I was picking up album #7 from L.A. mainstays People Under The Stairs, and even then I couldn’t believe they were already up to that many albums. That’s what happens though, when you have a duo with very little drama, a clear sense of what they want to do, and a strong work ethic. It’s been fifteen years of quality hip hop now, and Thes One and Double K don’t show any signs of slowing down.
It’s been an interesting path to get to K.Flay’s debut full length album. Over the course of the past few years, K.Flay had made a name for herself based on some stellar SXSW performances, a lot of touring, and a number of EPs and mixtapes. The goods were there, though – it wasn’t just hype. She had developed a unique sound, blending hip hop with an industrial/alternative rock style to make a style of music that was unique, yet easily accessible. In early 2013, she released West Ghost, an EP that announced her departure from the Bay Area for Brooklyn.
Since the release of his 2011 album, Boesoek, Dutch producer Coco Bryce has been on a creative tear. That album was one of the best instrumental full lengths of recent years, and his follow up, 2013’s Club Tropicana, continued to expand his sound. His music brings in a myriad of styles of hip hop, dance, and skweee, but he always manages to filter them through his own unique voice. With his latest effort, an EP titled The Lover, we get a short, focused effort that will stay in your head for days.
Jellyfish Brigade is the Portland duo of emcee Lucas Dix and producer Jeffrey Acciaioli. While this album marks the debut full length release for the duo, this project has been a long time coming. Dix grew up in Wisconsin, but moved to Portland with his friend and musical partner, Gavin Theory, to pursue their artistic endeavors. Unfortunately, though, Theory had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the music of Hives Inquiry Squad never got to see its full fruition.
It’s been six years since we last got a solo album from Boston emcee Akrobatik. It’s been a hell of a journey for the underground veteran, who we very nearly lost to heart problems a few years back. He’s been determined to release another album for the better part of a year, shopping around his music to different labels, and even launching a failed Kickstarter campaign. It was weird to think this emcee, who had been one of my favorites while working in college radio in the early to mid '00s, was now on the outside looking in. Was it just a shift in the music industry?