Saturday, September 8, 2007

Aesop Rock "None Shall Pass" video

Aesop Rock's "None Shall Pass" debuted at #50 on Billboard's Soundscan charts with less than 15,000 units moved.

This video for "None Shall Pass" is pretty tight!

Macka-Chin "LAST" Asian Hip Hop That Doesn't Suck

Yeah, I can't understand a thing these cats are saying but just to prove the universality of this music...I FEEL IT!!! I don't need a translator. This is hip hop!

Macka-Chin is a producer/emcee from Japan. His crew, Nitro Microphone Underground, were signed to Def Jam Japan! If you want, you can think of him as their version of The Rza (underground producer and emcee who got snapped up and put on by a major label) and Nitro Microphone Underground as Japan's Wu Tang. They were the first Japanese hip hop group to achieve national success without having to go Pop.

Fans of Massive Attack are gonna feel the layered beats and samples on "Last." The production is unabashedly left field but the drums bump really hard. Macka sometimes strays into electronica to mixed results. His strength lies in the darker, ambient, soundscapes, not the four-four thump of dance music.

Some of his best instrumental tracks are sadly, truncated, leaving the listener wishing that he would carry the songs out and develop the themes to some sort of conclusion. "Meet In The Shinto Shrine" stands shoulder to shoulder with any ambient track released by Irresistible Force but lasts less than a minute and a half. The dusty beat workout of "Universal Gravitation" is another track that begs for an extension.

Despite these minor complaints the best tracks on "Last" lift it up into a very pleasurable experience. "Firm Ground" and "Diver" are standout tracks. I'd love to hear more from this entire crew.

Pick up the album here.

Download "Firm Ground"
Download "Diver"
Download "Meet In The Shinto Shrine"

Xczircles "The Urge" E.P. on

Hip Hop is worldwide. I feel stupid and cliched just writing that. Nothing makes this fact more obvious than when some of the most interesting music is coming from places that your typical American would never expect. Why is it necessary for another country, another culture, to maintain and nurture the art form that was created here? The artists who live here? I don't know, but Soulja Boy isn't being released by an overseas label...

France; Jerry Lewis is funny, Air is a pop sensation, and they surrender a lot. Typical cliched assumptions right? Well how about aggressive, darkly claustrophobic, beats on a par with DJ Shadow, Dan The Automator, and RJD2?
That's what you get if you check out "The Urge E.P." from beatmaker Xczircles.
Now Xczircles is from California but he was approached by the French website to release "The Urge E.P." as an exclusive download release available for FREE at their site.
Click over there and check it out.
You won't be disappointed.
If only would pay attention to an artist like Xczircles...

Nike SB X Strummer before n after

Nike carries on with their rock pack concepts (Guns n Roses, U2 etc.) with an SB modeled after Joe Strummer's (of The Clash) '66 fender guitar. Apparently they have a couple versions. One is the brand new guitar and the other is the guitar after years of use by Strummer. No release date but I hope The Skate Park Of Tampa is gonna carry 'em.

Speaking of The Clash, Julien Temple has released a documentary on the life of Joe Strummer that will debut at 2007's Sundance Film Festival.

Pics via SneakersBR

Puma Clyde gum sole

I've never owned a pair of Pumas. For the most part I've never cared for the Clydes. I was sorta interested in the "Cheech Wizard" Clydes but they were so limited that I didn't really chase 'em. On the other hand I am a sucker for a gum sole! I can't help myself. These are simple color ways and the classic Clyde silhouette but with the gum sole added in. makes 'em kinda sweet. A winter release is expected.

check hypebeast for more info.

Onitsuka & Tokidoki join forces

Legendary Japanese athletic company, Onitsuka Tiger is now joining forces with another Japanese heavyweight… Tokidoki, which is mostly noted for their vibrant artistic take on Japanese culture. Since art and fashion are so closely related, it just makes sense to match Tiger’s history of quality products with Tokidoki’s keen eye for modern Japanese art. Beginning in May 2008, plan on seeing the brainchild of these two companies on a bi-annual basis.

via Hypebeast

Dudley Perkins & Georgia Anne Muldrow are G&D

Sometimes stars align. Sometimes kismet is irresistible. Fate. That which is meant to be. All these concepts apply to the collaboration between Dudley Perkins (aka declaime) and Georgia Anne Muldrow. G&D "The Message Uni Versa" on Look Records is the natural, and not unexpected, product of fate. These two star travelers HAD to come together. Both artists are loosely affiliated with Stone's Throw Records (Georgia released an album or two through S.T. and Dudley is immediate crew with Madlib who has produced a considerable amount of his work). Both are difficult to define; often wandering around the edges of hip hop but just as likely to attract fans of funk, soul, or the astral jazz explorations of Sun Ra. Both have shown a proclivity to run, not walk away, from convention.

I haven't been a great fan of Georgia up until now. All of her releases displayed a talent and artistic vision that impressed, but did not move me. Conversely, Declaime has always been one of my favorite artists. He's always been the black sheep in a crew filled with black sheep. It takes a lot to seem weird while working alongside Madlib. But Dudley has always danced to his own funky drummer. "The Message Uni Versa" seems to have combined the strengths of both artists and created something even greater.

The Funk has been making a re-appearance in the last few years. Plant Life sewed the seeds. Pharrel ("Angel" & "Beautiful" in particular) & Cee-Lo (initially with "Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections" and most recently as Gnarls Barkley) dropped it on the mainstream world. Now indie hip hop is gonna get a chance to let the, "Fonk set 'em free!" Because make no mistake, just like Prince Paul and Bernie Worrell's Baby Elephant project, this is a funk album. It is one hell of a funky ride too. Georgia on production (an exciting proposition in and of itself to have a woman formulate the funk) and Dudley delivering the revolutionary funk-laimations spells nothing but good times.

The album drops Sept. 25th. Pick that thing up here!

Download "One"