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.
Constructive Interference is the collaboration between two producers, Evil Needle and Sivey, who have never met in person. Evil Needle is based in Strasbourg, France, while Sivey is based in Manchester. The two met online about six years ago, and started collaborating about three years ago. This EP marks their first official release as a duo.
My Bags is a record label launched just last year, based in Messac, France. Their latest release is the first solo album form French producer Gabriel Hays, entitled Prompt.
Amp Live is a producer from the Bay Area, and one half of the duo Zion I. He’s been making music since the late ‘90s, but it wasn’t about until the mid-00s that he began making music as a solo artist. It started with some beat tapes and remixes, but it has slowly building since then, including some instrumental EPs. Things really picked up when he signed to Plug Research as a solo artist, and dropped the stellar Kaleidoscope Theory: The Color EP just last year. He now makes his full length debut for Plug Research with Headphone Concerto.
Alias is one of the founding members of the anticon. collective, and one of the most talented and creative producers working over the last fifteen years. He’s been relatively quiet over the past couple of years, with his last full length album coming in 2011. With Pitch Black Prism, he comes back as strong as he’s ever been.
Cormega is one of these artists that has managed to survive by reputation and reference for years, but due to all sorts of circumstances, never had the output to match. Hip hop fans knew him from his days coming up in New York in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but all sorts of situations kept stalling his career, from legal problems to label problems. For the longest time it seemed that he was going to be more famous for feuding with Nas than making amazing hip hop records.
EVC, or Essential Vitamins Crew, out of Buffalo, have been responsible for some of the most creative hip hop in the last couple of years, and producer cove is one of the main reasons. He first came to our attention at Scratched Vinyl last summer, with the incredibly fun release, SoulFritoFunk. His latest release is a followup to an album he released in February of last year, simply titled love.gained/love.lost. It’s an ambitious project, but one he’s been building up to.