Thursday, 27 August 2009

8 Tracks: Hip-Hop from either side of the Pacific

I made more 8tracks mixes that you can listen to. With your ears! Quit trying that finger-tip, vibrational sensation shit, you're not fooling anyone. You're not Matt Murdock and you're no kind of vigilante.

Here's mostly indie hip-hop from America:

And, if time permits, I'd like to say a few words, you can work out how they relate to things later. So Amanda Blank!? I didn't even know her solo album came out until I saw it in HMV last week, and I'm approaching it with no little trepidation. Everything I've heard from her so far was fierce and dirty hip-hop and she sounds awesome on every track, but the solo album cover looks like a low rent Lady Gaga, or an early Gossip record, or something just tossed off in ten minutes by a designer who thinks he's really captured the Zeitgeist. But that style is so associated in my head now with massively overrated bands (like the Gossip) and hype and nonsense that it turned me off straight away. And the sticker dude on the case says it's not just hip-hop but electro and pop... I'm gonna check that out for sure, but I'm not holding my breath anymore. A few years ago I was really digging the music coming out of Anticon's ant-cave (or wherever it is that they live) and they got into some pathetic little underground spat with El-P and at the time I was digging Anticon more so I was kinda on their side, but since then Cannibal Ox's The Cold Vein has stomped into my top ten favourite albums of all time, and now I realise that most things El-P's done have been bostin' so my heart is now open to both camps. And MF Doom, his Viktor Vaughn album is so good you don't even know. And considering the amount of music he put out that year, it's no small thing.

Now let's see what the hip-hoppers from Japan have to say:

I heard so much random stuff about Tha Blue Herb, who come from my town Sapporo, that I'm ashamed I only listened to them properly last week. They're really good arty, downbeat hip-hop though - so downbeat that I'm not surprised a bunch of my friends didn't dig them at Rising Sun last year. Hip-hop without a hook has to survive on the flow and the beats alone, and when it does it's top-grade beef. I wish I'd checked them out then, but I can at least see their DJ and Producer spin this weekend at Magical Camp. Kreva put a couple of... underwhelming singles out recently. He's always been J-pop-hip-hop but man, when he's fired up he's so good. It's a shame he's doing the r&b thing so much. Teriyaki Boyz are, yes, the bape house band, here featuring US all-stars and a super-model, so it ain't all that humble. I like it though. I've only heard a little M-Flo, and again when they're courting the pop market I can't say I'm that interested, but this bastard-awesome production from Towa Tei and sci-fi bender from their second album is incredible.

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