Hey everyone, hope you’re all doing well and feeling somewhat festive. Second last weekly roundup of the year and he great releases keep coming through. Had to change how I do my thumbnail photo for this one as the app I usually use is down. Otherwise, happy listening!
Your Old Droog’s Soviet-themed album Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition is the definition of rap excellence
Brooklyn-based emcee Your Old Droog has been making some of the most focused and intricate rap music of the last 5 years or so. Last year was incredible, with 3 excellent releases that quickly established him as one of the most interesting voices within the genre. This year, instead of 3 albums, he’s released 1. But don’t get it twisted, Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition is absolutely incredible. Celebrating his Ukrainian heritage, Droog sounds focused and hungrier on the mic than ever before. Just look at the tracklist – “Kazakhstan”, “Ukraine”, “Matryoshka”, “Uzbekistan”, “Kyrgyzstan”… Nobody to my knowledge has released a USSR-themed hip-hop album, and that’s part of the reason, as a fellow Eastern European, I can relate to the sound and themes so much. Read more
JPEGMAFIA – EP!
Experimental Baltimore hip-hop artist JPEGMAFIA has come through with a brand new EP, simply titled EP! which comprises of singles and other tracks he has released over the last year. And just listening to it, I’m amazed by his sonic eclecticism and variety. The driving and dynamic tracks like “BALD!” and “CUTIE PIE!” are complemented by more slower-paced jams like “THE BENDS!” complementing the heavier and fast-paced sound. Personal favourite “ROUGH 7” featuring Tommy Genesis is featured on this EP as well. It’s an intriguing and fascinating collection of tracks that showcase the extent of his talents as a producer, emcee and overall producer. So go and check this one out!
DarkTwaine_ – Shadow Work
Richmond, Virginia artist Ohbliv needs to real introduction. The underground legend keeps delivering high quality projects after high-quality projects. Under his DarkTwaine_ alias, he has released a brand new project titled Shadow Work. He is able to, throughout the 8 tracks, create an eclectic, unassuming yet beautiful body of work that features muffled keys, intricate percussion and grooves that captivate me so much. The disorienting “Deliverance” is an example of his sonic ingenuity, with harsh, guitar-led melodies that feel suffocated by the desolate and almost dystopian beat. Tracks like “Cultivation” are fascinating field recordings that just bring such a hypnotic energy to it. The subtle beauty of “Intention” is also a highlight to me. Overall this is a stellar project that showcases the extent of his talents as a producer and composer. An excellent body of work and one you should definitely support!
Jehst – Heathens
UK-based emcee Jehst has come through with a short but sweet new EP titled Heathens. Featuring some eclectic jazzy and idiosyncratic production, the talented emcee is able to rhyme effortlessly, bringing witty and introspective rhymes that sound perfect on these beats. The groovy “Heathens” opens the project with a funky and groovy beat, with Jehst’s observational and intelligent raps shining throughout. “420 Every Day” is an example of that smooth, intricate sound that I’ve come to love from the talented musician, and it sounds beautiful. The darker “State of the Union (Freestyle)” is menacing, with striking strings and a rumbling bassline. “Body Bag” is similarly dark and witty, again perfectly capturing Jehst eclectic style and rapping ability. It’s definitely an album to check out and support!
Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger – Force Majeure
New-York based bassist Dezron Douglas & harpist Brandee Younger have released a stellar new project titled Force Majeure. The beautiful, emotive sound both incredibly gifted musicians are able to create is so inspiring, especially considering it’s raw and DIY recording technique – basically done at their home with a single microphone. It’s crazy to me how beautiful and potent some of the tracks are. “Gospel Trane” is incredibly lush and incredible, while the melody and textures of “You Make Me Feel Brand New” are just so gorgeous I’m just in awe of everything. It’s their flawless chemistry that makes this album tick, and it’s amazing to me that the music is basically comprised of two main instruments. Both musicians complement each other beautifully, so Force Majeure is an incredible body of work. Go support it!
Groove School Records – Global Vibrations
The newly established London-based record label Groove School Records have come through with a stellar compilation album titled Global Vibrations featuring friends and super talented musicians. It’s a 9-track project and features gems from the likes of Bentley, Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange, Melodiesinfonie, VEDA BLACK, Chewbeats, Joel Dawe, Àbáse, Pasquinel, SicStyle and VLVT Jones. The groove of Bentley’s “Sunshine” and Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange’s “Drunxk” are incredibly infectious, while the groovy “Leave It All Alone” by VEDA BLACK, Chewbeats and Joel Dawe is incredible, while Àbáse’s usually fantastic sound can be heard all over “Sorongo”. This album features some truly fantastic tunes that highlight the incredible jazz, hip-hop and soul artists around the world. Let these sounds serenade you, but also go support!
Pattern Sounds – Sip Slow Vol. 1
London-based collective Pattern Sounds have released a stellar compilation tape titled Sip Slow Vol. 1. With 16 tracks, it’s an expansive release that immerses me into the soulful sounds of the city and beyond, with smooth and eclectic tunes that highlight the variety and depth of some of the most talented artists within the UK. The groove and heavy beat on Junior Sagoe’s “You Keep” is incredible, while Vi’s “Don’t Play” produced by William Florelle is so beautiful and intimate. Another favourite of mine is REI SKY’s “Bounce”, which is features some tribal rhythms and grooves, as well as an infectious beat that complements the piano keys and percussion beautifully. The groove of Don Collins’ “Not Love” is another highlight for me, with its hypnotic sound that perfectly captures the raw sound throughout the album. Overall it’s a very strong collection of tracks and I recommend everyone to check it out!
SFTNR (SWARVY) – Soundtrack Music
LA-based musician SWARVY has come through with an excellent 2-track album titled Soundtrack Music for SFTNR. Knowing him mainly for his hip-hop and jazz-influenced production, Soundtrack Music is a stellar deep dive into ambient, soundtrack music. Ethereal synths, quirky sound effects and ambient sounds dominate the vast soundscape of the music, and on both “FRONT” and “BACK”, SWARVY is able to create an engaging, and mesmeric soundscape. Go check this project out, and I hope SWARVY continues going down this past of experimental ambient music.
Nothing_Neue – iii
New York-based multi-instrumentalist and overall talented musician Nothing_Neue has come through with a stellar new project titled iii that capture some incredibly textured and soulful sounds. The grooves and beats throughout are truly sublime, with personal favourites of mine including the colourful and dynamic groove of “11:11”, the thumping and futuristic tone of “Hourglass” and the lavish and jazzy “Azurite”. What I love most about his music is his ability to create aesthetically rich beats and grooves that transcend genres and provide a dynamic, catchy vibe that perfectly captures his aura as a musician. This is definitely a project you should check out, and please go back and listen to his previous music if you haven’t already. So many gems!
Everybody’s Homie – Sound Projections
Atlanta, Georgia-based beatmaker Everybody’s Homie has come through with a fantastic new EP titled Sound Projections. The 4-track EP features heavy grooves, cinematic synths and an infectious groove that is channeled throughout the project effortlessly. “Dizzy” is an example of that groovy, bass-heavy sound that just slaps every time. “Dream Land” with 10.4 ROG is incredibly beautiful and melodic throughout, making for a beautiful listen, while the reflective and otherworldly energy of “Porcelain” with Vooo is hypnotic as it is engaging. The bass-heavy and groovy energy on “Push” is complemented by angelic keys that are just so potent and ethereal throughout that it can be on loop for hours and I’d just groove to it. Altogether, Everybody’s Homie has released an impressive EP that is just so beautiful throughout. Go support!
Your Old Droog – Kazakhstan (Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition)
Your Old Droog – Matryoshka (Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition)
Your Old Droog – Kyrgyzstan (Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition)
JPEGMAFIA – CUTIE PIE! (EP!)
Jehst – Body Bag prod. Jetsun (Heathens)
Madlib – The Plan Pt. 1 (WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip)
Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger – You Make Me Feel Brand New (Force Majeure)
VEDA BLACK, Chewbeats & Joel Dawe – Leave It All Alone (Global Vibrations Vol. 1)
Junior Sagoe – You Keep (Sip Slow Vol. 1)
Finn Foxell, Lord Apex & Flowzart – Bounce (Stuck in Motion)
Jadasea – Deep End (Single)
dj blackpower – Mhm! (BLP2020 “King of the Night”)
REI SKY – Bounce (Sip Slow Vol. 1)
Pa Salieu – Bang out (Betty / Bang out Singles)
M1llionz – Lagga (Single)