Beauty and the Best

Sep 2012

Ultraista - Small Talk

Produced by Nigel Goodrich of Radiohead fame, Ultraîsta’s first LP drops on October 2, 2012. This Four Tet remix is real nice, but don’t miss out on the original.

The original...

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Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to the Pharcyde Instrumentals Review

blogEntryTopperGet ready to sit back with your favorite drink and drift off into instrumental sounds with one of hip hop's most respected acts.  Gummy Soul's Amerigo Gazaway has remixed and re-sampled the original music used by A Tribe Called Quest for his new album called "Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to the Pharcyde Instrumentals."

For those who don't know, A Tribe Called Quest is an American hip hop group from New York City, first formed in the 1980’s, with notable members like
Q-TipPhife Dawg & Ali Shaheed Muhammad. They created some of the greatest works in the genre with their stirring production and intelligent lyrics, but you won't hear any lyrics in this album.

Instead, Gazaway has gone through countless jazz, funk and soul tunes to get to the source of Tribe's music, creating something familiar while being entirely new.  Chances are that you have heard bits, pieces - one or more of the songs used here. And as much as I like to hear new things, there's something to be said for hearing a classic, especially in a new way. 

So I've come to especially like throwing the track 
Lyrics 2 Let it Go on repeat while I write this very review and to think that you too can get all this music mashed together for the price of just one album. Actually, it's for the price of none. That's right, the whole album is 100% free to download from GummySoul's  Bandcamp page. So what are you waiting for? Go listen to this!

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JJ DOOM – Keys To The Kuff

Key To The Kuffs Album Cover
For those who’ve followed it, the transformation from Zev Love X to MF Doom (and now Doom) as been an interesting one to say the least. From classics like the light-hearted Peach Fuzz to the moody rhythms of Monkey Suite, Doom transcends anything the casual onlooker may have expected from the often stale world of hip hop. I’m not sure if temporary exile has to do with Doom’s return to his roots or his physical location while recording Keys To The Kuff, but this offering definitely has a UK feel to it – which is great because it’s home to a lot of my favorite artists. As always, I’m excited to hear about new works from Doom and this collaboration with Jneiro Jarel has to be one of the best since his work with Danger Mouse in ‘05. JJ’s production is top notch as he takes the exploration of bass and subsonic tonality to completely new levels. One motif heard throughout is Jarel’s technique of closing out tracks with a complete divergence to bring the groove seamlessly into the next song. Borin’ Convo was the song that a friend sent to me which prompted my purchase of Keys. This song adds itself to the list of classic Doom sporting a deep, synthetic bass riff that plods along like an accusation while the beat is punctuated with a crisp, loosely chained snare kick. My favorite track, Gmo, is supported with a steady bass drum heartbeat, a deliberately strummed six-string, and a peppy melody sweetly harmonized by Beth Gibbon’s (Portishead) haunting vocal cadence hinting at the distant presence of a masked Zorro. Retarded Fren is a great song to listen to after an argument in support of your potential need to sulk for a bit. It’s a musical personification of defeat, as Doom says “Cold and stiff.” The instrumental Viberian Sun, Pt. II makes you want Doom to drop some lyrics while your head is bobbing to it’s infectious beat. Reminisce of some of J. Dilla’s great works, I’m sure this one will find its way into many mixes in the years to come. Keys to The Kuff, with production support from Jarel, illustrates Doom’s range as an artist and lyricist and I’m sure Subroc looks down proudly as his brother continues to push hip hop’s boundaries.

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