I Can See It In Your Face is a strange combination of instrumental music, dubstep influences, maybe drum & bass, funk?, soul, and whatever you can find more. A real musical melting pot, but one that works out very well. Pretty Lights is an American artist who really made his fame a year or two ago. That’s about when a lot of his (free!) albums and EP’s were downloaded by yours truly and listened to with great pleasure. If you didn’t knew Pretty Lights, now is your time to enjoy.
BADBADNOTGOOD is one of those acts that you do not really know where to place at the first time. I didn’t really know if I liked what they are doing. Is it too much of a hype to be really good music or is it some serious shit? Well, their name says it all. These guys don’t take themselves too serious and still, they play very well. They gained my attention by collaborating with Odd Future mc Tyler, the Creator. But I was really blown away by their cover of Nas’ The World Is Yours, ending with ODB’s Brooklyn Zoo. It resulted in this hip-hop/jazz jam, which is taking the idea of a hip-hop beat to a whole other level.
A week ago they released their second album, free download on their site.
Quakers is a new group, consisting of Fuzzface, Katalyst and 7-Stu-7. You may know Fuzzface under another name, Geoff Barrow, as part of the famous group Portishead. These three producers made an hip-hop album. The project started with their collective disillusion of hip-hop nowadays. So they gathered 35 musicians, including Aloe Blacc, Dead Prez and The Pharcyde’s Booty Brown, who felt the same way. The result is an album with 41 tracks full of creative, funky hip-hop. For example, Smoke featuring Jonwayne, a great track carried by an amazing, funky bassline. Add some smooth vocals and I´m a fan!
Inspired by the amazing weather, I made a Spotify playlist full of feel good, summerish hiphop songs. 55 songs make three hours of listening, that’ll do right? With artists ranging Biggie to Coolio and from A Tribe to Black Star, they all share the same uplifting vibe. Expect horns, funky organs, double basses and positive rhymes.
Got Spotify? Check it
Spring has entered Europe and I am still studying and writing posts for this blog, pff what a life. So while the sun is shining outside, I try to pull some of it inside my university. In fact, that is not a real problem thanks to this song. It is a collaboration between hip-hop producer Kubus, known for his beats full of weird, electronic sounds, and Rico. You may know Rico as part of hip-hop group Opgezwolle and he is, in my opinion, the best Dutch mc. When he is rapping about all the people coming together around the pool, it takes me back to the times when I just chilled all summer in and around the swimming pool close to my house. Ok, enough for today, I’m grabbing a beer somewhere outside.
Talking about good days, I have to share this song by Ice Cube with you. A true classic, which makes me look forward to the summer. Also, this song remembers me the times years ago, when I first got into songs like these. Maybe I played too much GTA San Andreas at the time?
Last week I bought a couple of new vinyls for to get back into that old school listening to music. Me and a friend went to Rotterdam, which is a great place to look for records and going through all the boxes full of vinyl. Especially the Nieuwe Binnenweg is the place to be, with stores as the Plaatboef and Demonfuzz Records. Plaatboef has a lot of records, cd and vinyl, ranging from new releases to a lot of second hand vinyl. Demonfuzz is the store for the real vinyl fans. It is a bit more expensive, but the quality of all the records is very good. Plus it has a lot of music that I like, a lot of jazz, soul, hip-hop and world music.
So these are the records that I bought:
Steely Dan – Greatest Hits. This is a band that I did not really know that well, but I heard some quite interesting stuff of them. Reason enough to check more of them. It is hard to say which genre this is, but I can best explain it as complex pop music with a lot of jazz influences. Listen: Reelin’ In The Years
A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory. One of the most inspiring and groundbreaking hip-hop records. Released in 1991, this was one of the records that showed hip-hop was not only about gangsters and ghettos. The Tribe rapped about everyday stuff, like love, their interest in rap music and the racism they had to go through in normal life. All this was done in a quite optimistic way with smooth, jazzy beats. Records like these show the wide variety of subgenres in hip-hop and are perfect for sunny summer days. Listen: Buggin’ Out
Charlie Parker – Immortal Sessions: Volume 6 Bongo Bop. Of course, Charlie Parker is one of the most influential saxophone players ever. I didn’t have any records with his music, so here I go. Probably more to follow. Listen: Cool Blues
Eric Gale – Ginseng Woman. Eric Gale is a guitar player, who did most of his work as a session musician. I got to know him by a friend of mine who let me hear a band called Stuff (check this out). I didn’t know he released solo records, but Wikipedia tells me he has twelve solo records and many, many more albums as session guitarist. I really like this album, it has a very relaxing vibe to it. And it sounds like Gale is really doing his own thing, instead of playing on others’ records. Listen: East End, West End
Nigeria 70 Sweet Times. This record is a collection of ‘Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970’s Lagos’. I really like this Afro-Funk and Highlife stuff, because it shows a weird development in history. We all know that Afro-American soul and jazz music was highly influenced by original African music. What happened in the 1960’s and 70’s is that this music came back to Africa and had a big influence over there. The result are funky soulful grooves with typical African sounding vocals. Listen: Unity In Africa by Eji Oyewole.
Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66. Of course we all know Sergio Mendes from the massive hit Mas Que Nada. But this guy has been active for a much longer time, since the 50’s! He was one of the first persons who played bossa nova, together with other legends as Antiono Carlos Jobim. This record is perfect for beautiful summer days. Listen: Upa, Neguinho