Hey everyone, hope you’re all keeping well despite all the shit that’s been happening in the US and around the world. A quick note that – I’ve compiled an extensive list of free educational material about the history of slavery and colonialism, as well as links to mutual funds and other Black-empowerment organisations to donate to. You can access all these links here.
This week’s roundup features some great music, and be sure to support not only the artists, but also some of the funds and organisations they are donating to. Here we go!
Run The Jewels 4 is a raw, pro-Black album that captures the energy and frustration of the Black struggle with ferocity and intent
Amidst all this madness happening throughout the United States and now on a global scale, El-P and Killer Mike have released their highly anticipated fourth studio album Run The Jewels 4, and it’s actually a perfect time to drop it. It’s a raw, pro-Black and anti-establishment album that fires on all cylinders and doesn’t hold back its strong, socio-political message. The truth is needed and both El-P and Killer Mike provide it brilliantly. It’s a fantastic body of work and I hope everyone gets to listen to it because it is truly phenomenal. Read more
Armand Hammer’s Shrines is an exceptional body of work that acts as a dystopian yet truthful commentary on socioeconomic issues in America
Shrines is an exceptional body of work that acts as a dystopian yet truthful commentary on socioeconomic issues in America. Both billy woods and ELUCID as Armand Hammer excel as emcees, bringing an incredible cast of producers to design the desolate, soulful and idiosyncratic soundscapes for the album. All the features are stellar throughout, and while I know I haven’t delved deeper into a few of the records on the project, I’m going to have a lot of fun revisiting this album for months and years to come. Big up both of you, you guys are incredible! Read more
Intalekt – Choppy Chops Vol. 1
London-based producer Intalekt has come through with a brand new beat tape titled Choppy Chops Vol.1. The project was born out of a need to stay creative throughout this lockdown period, as he found ways to combine his Instagram following in an interactive activity where people would send samples and other sound effects for him to use throughout. The result is a dynamic and eclectic body of work that showcases his talents as a producer excellently. On the one hand, his classic boom-bap sound can be heard on the project through tracks like “Steppers” and “Broke Boiz,” as he navigates through melodic synths and drum-heavy beats. On the other hand we have a more trap-influenced sound on tracks like “Fantaseeya After Quarantine” and “Smile Through the Pein” that sound a lot heavier and menacing in tone. Overall, he’s able to compile a wide range of sounds on this dynamic and catchy 19-track project, so make sure to support!
SHADEEMUS – Arakis EP
UK-based psychedelic rock group SHADEEMUS have released their highly anticipated new project titled Arakis. Made up of multi-instrumentalist and creative visionary Scott Xylo, guitarist Adam Martin and vocalist Demigosh, they have together been able to craft a vast, desolate soundscape of incredible guitar leads, slow-burning and soulful grooves that capture this moody, soulful soundscape beautifully. One of the highlights on the 5-track EP is “Easy,” which features London-based rapper Shumba Maasai, who flows effortlessly and with personality on this psychedelic soundscape. Adam Martin kills it on guitar, with solos on “Groovedeemus” and “Desert Days” being nothing short of incredible. The hypnotic and inspiring soundscape is incredible, and I really hope all three members continue with this project and create more albums in the future. Their potential is incredible. Big up to you all!
maassai – unsounded points of view
Brooklyn-based musician maassai has come through with a short but punchy new EP titled unsounded points of view. She describes this release as a way to “summarize feelings that are difficult to describe.” Considering the events of the last few weeks, it makes sense for her lyrics to be so raw and vivid. The production on the Laron-produced “anecdoche” and the Khalil Blu-produced “monachopsis (grappling)” is brutal and angular, while the Gengis Don-produced “sounder” is more mellow in its tone. She speaks from the heart on all these tracks, and over these instrumentals she sounds as hungry as ever. maassai is developing creatively into one of my favourite artists and I hope we get a new album eventually because the potential she has is crazy. Definitely worth checking out.
TAH – That Way You Feel Right Now
Newark, New Jersey based producer TAH has come through with a sombre, atmospheric and reflective new EP titled That Way You Feel Right Now. The last few weeks have been incredibly difficult for many to process and live through, and I could tell that TAH poured his heart out on this project, creating meandering and mesmeric compositions that seem to be a reflection of his own state of mind. As he said, he doesn’t feel like dancing right now, and tracks like “The Way You Feel Right Now” and “Im a Fish and You’re a Water Sign” are examples of the subtle, vast and atmospheric soundscapes he is able to produce with his synth-led compositions. It’s a great body of work and I definitely recommend everyone check it out.
Various Artists – New York Dance Music III (Townhead Recordings)
100% of proceeds will be donated to Black Visions Collective & National Bail Out.
Townhead Recordings have released their third compilation album New York Dance Music III. Consisting of some of the most talented New York based electronic musicians, this compilation showcases the extent of New York’s diverse sound. Whether this is Kush Jones’ colourful and dynamic “Jazzy” or Drew.’s 8 minute arresting 8-minute thriller “Entropy,” there’s literally a groove and composition for everyone. Other ontable producers featured on this amazing compilation album are JWords on “Noisy,” AceMo on “Summer Jam” and AMEN the Producer on “Blinded by the Light.” It’s a dynamic, diverse and eclectic collection of tracks that again, capture New York’s vast electronic sound beautifully. Go support!
Omari Jazz – Dream Child
All the funds received for this project will be distributed between the least funded relief efforts found on this hyperlink blacklivesmatters.carrd.co.
Portland, Oregon based musician Omari Jazz has been releasing some of my favourite instrumental music over the last few years, so his new album Dream Child was a highly anticipated one for me. Over 13 tracks he is able to capture a rich aesthetic, with gorgeous synth leads and sound effects, wrapped up in groovy, infectious beats and rhythms that capture the ethereal quality of his music perfectly. Whether this is the incredible harp and synth leads on “Little Web ft. Dolphin Midwives & B” or the eclectic and textured rhythms on tracks like “Kindling” or “Dream Matter,” the talented musician is able to craft an dynamic, diverse soundscape full of high-tempo sounds and rhythms throughout. It’s a terrific body of work!
Suzi Analogue – SU CASA EP
Suzi Analogue is a legend with the futuristic electronic sound of the last decade, releasing some incredible, timeless music. Her brand new EP SU CASA continues that legacy with music that sounds visceral, rhythmic, energetic and incredibly catchy. The dynamic energy on tracks like “LIKE LIKE” and “PPL PWR” with their pulsating beats and fierce synth leads are incredible, while the more melodic tone of “Way Outta” is beautiful with its more colourful tone and energy. She really was able to exceed expectations yet again with this release, creating a textured, high-tempo electronic album that will be played for quite a long time.
VEDA BLACK – Call It Love (Single)
All proceeds will go towards the Black LGBTQIA Therapy Fund.
London-based singer & songwriter VEDA BLACK has released a stellar new single titled “Call it Love” Her vocal performance is soft and angelic throughout, adding a gorgeous, soulful and soothing quality over incredibly lush and layered production. Subtle guitar leads and basslines add to the texture of the track, but its the atmospheric quality of the record that makes it such a joy to listen to. I definitely recommend checking this track out and hope VEDA BLACK continues to kill it musically because there’s a lot of potential there!
Run The Jewels – out of sight ft 2 Chainz (RTJ4)
Run The Jewels – never look back (RTJ4)
Run The Jewels – a few words for the firing squad (radiation) (RTJ4)
Armand Hammer – Frida ft Quelle Chris & FIELDED (Shrines)
Armand Hammer – Ramesses II ft Moor Mother, Earl Sweatshirt & FIELDED (Shrines)
Armand Hammer – The Eucharist (Shrines)
SHADEEMUS – Eyes ft Shumba Maasai (Arakis EP)
EARTHGANG – Meditate ft JID (Rags – EP)
Aminé – Riri (Single)
Lil Yachty & Tierra Whack – T.D. ft A$AP Rocky & Tyler, The Creator (Lil Boat 3)
Noname – Regal (Room 25)
MAVI – Bedrest (Single)
Nappy Nina – What You Want ft Ambrose Akinmusire, Nick Hakim & Quelle Chris (Dumb Doubt)
VEDA BLACK – Call it Love (Single)
Jyoti (Georgia Anne Muldrow) – Cowrie Waltz (Single)