Abdoom & Unraum.
Despite the rather puzzling title, Tufu’s latest release does take a pretty explicit point. The album is packed with incredibly smooth, jazzy, and just flowing beats and samples. My absolute favorite Echolord is the last track on the album, and a somewhat reprise. It features rapper Teknical Development (brilliant collab with Long Arm right over here). But also - just like the track Schnapsschalter - it samples one of the most amazing songs I have ever heard: John and Alice Coltrane’s “The Sun”, from 1968’s Cosmic Music (Impulse!). Well, Tufu had quite and interesting take on it, definitely worth a listen!
This record is produced by Tufu himself with some hands by the good Flowtec, Mate Zwo, and fellows like Bukas Rollbrett, Knowsum and Melodiesinfonie Beats. It pretty much continues the way that his debut “Die Symbolik des Mastschweins” (self-published) and it’s successor “Hässlon” (Sichtexot) marked years ago, which is combining warm, subtle, and jazzy hiphop beats that are wonderfully arranged and produced (mostly by Tufu himself) with rather harsh lyrics, a rough language that knows excatly one topic: dissing “whack” mcs. Not too innovative or enlightening, one might say. But for me the sound pretty much makes up for the lack of substance on the lyrical part. Besides: even though it’s all about whack mcs, Tufu’s metaphors and quite visual (and funny) ideas are worth a listen anyways - if you’re not too much of a tender disposition, that is.
Tufu is quite a representative artist on for Sichtexot one might say. The Mainz-based label was started in early 2011, is rather small, and manages to have a refreshing and unique style already. Their artists include quite some interesting ones like Figub Brazlevič (that you might remember) and Anthony Drawn: besides his sax-playing on Abdoom & Unraum, Drawn teamed up with Tufu in 2011 for a collab, called “Seelenquantisierung”.
Good stuff - and a very interesting and refreshing part of contemporary German hiphop-culture actually. And it reminds me a bit of the Dramadigs-crew from Bremen, up north. (I’ll have to share some of that here too, soon.). Others of put it next to the likes of Hass&Hodn, which I would not really see. Still, the quite, decent and high-quality attitude, featuring selected artists and focusing on - well - beats and flow, rather than popularity, buzz or hyped hiphop-cities and labels is something, that good German hiphop has been missing for some time. Well, it is of course “underground” and a bit independent and all that. Just minding their own business, but I like that.
black to the future.
Check out this m a s s i v e 3-part set by King Britt on Afrofuturism. Britt, DJ and producer should ring a bell - or least his (Grammy-winning) work in the 90s with Digable Planets. This compilation is part of the noise from the 18th floor program by the pew center of arts and heritage.
The set is composed of three partes and interviews and talks of king britts and Tracy Tannenbaum. It features rare grooves and classics, interviews and stories by sunra and just beautiful music by ras g, beats by flylo, coltrane, davis, africa bambaata, zomby just to name a few - it’s wonderfully guided surprising and delighting journey through the world of beats and rhythms from the motherland and from distant space.
I was asked a few months ago to curate a show on Afrofuturism and its influences on me and my compositional work. Afrofuturism is a term originated by Mark Dery who did an essay in the New York Times in 1995 called “Black To The Future.” It became a very famous term among Afro American musicians who embrace Science Fiction, realities of space and time, and who tend to look at other worlds, comic books, and that sort of thing, as a way of escape. You have authors like Octavia Butler who wrote Kindred and other amazing books, Kodwo Eshun who wrote More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction, which really go into breaking down what Afrofuturism is. But basically it is the African American sound that embraces Science Fiction pioneered by artists Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Sun-Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, DJ Spooky, just to name a few.
Source: SoundCloud / Flume
Yatha Bhuta Jazz Combo.
Onra & Buddy Sativa.
All City Records.
also known everywhere.
Road music to get us in gear for 2MV’s next release. Teaming up with Chicago’s own O_bonjour for this one. Keep your head up and your eyes open. Keep rolling.
land of 1000 chances.
it happened. dj day just dropped his second full-length album, called ‘Land of 1000 Chances’ (Piecelock 70). just like it’s predecessor, its brimming with wonderfully warm and jazzy beats, colorful samples and fender sounds, and beautiful vocals and strings. as it literally just dropped (a few hours ago) i just had a few run throughs - but i already fell in love with it. quite versatile, from tight funk, to brazilian, to quite old school hip hop, back to straight forward rock even, ‘Land of 1000 Chances’ is a very refreshing and quite nicely composed album. for this one, day was actually backed up by Kat O1O (Crown City Rockers) and executive producer Thes One from People under the Stairs (!!)
of course, day is not really a new kid to the business. heralded by the likes of jazzy jeff, jeremy sole and gilles peterson, he’s been making his name not only with his debut ‘The Day Before’ (MPM) but also with numerous collabs with clutchy hopkins (!), aloe blacc, miles bonny, just to name a few. he also release quite a few remixes and do-overs from funk, to hiphop and jazz - all top-class beatmaking music. you should check out his soundcloud to taste his prolific output. (recommendation: the gilles peterson worldwide mix. some real gems in there!) - just beautiful music.
Thomas Melouch aka. Benoit Pioulard releases the first song from his forthcoming album Hymnal (Kranky). Full of mysterious and crumpled sounds and bits, its warm Lo-Fi noise almost makes it sound “like some long-lost broadcast from an ancient radio station.”
- very looking forwad to this one.
darryl reeves - mercury. (5)
round five it its. and we go jazzy for this one: saxophonist darryl reeves dropped his second studio release ‘mecury’ on epic live music records earlier this year. but i just found the time to take a closer lister. well, it really got me.
very groovy, funky, and jazzy sounds, added up by some nice and soulful vocals from time to time. all that comes backed up by a pretty tight rhythm section starring kenny banks (k), joel powell (b), and kenton bostick (d). reeves features quite a cast of guest, among others carmen rodgers, rasheeda ali, and gwen bunn. the whole album is picking up the current spirit of hiphop-inspired jazz music that easily switches between styles and references while maintaining a very high over-all level. and of course you’ll hear some strong dilla influence as well. but that’s of course a very good thing!
well, let’s keep it short this time. i leave you with his great collab featuring the wonderful valencia robinson. i guess its one of my favourite’s of ‘mecury’ - and i quite well captures that mix of hiphop, jazz and groovy beats you’ll hear though out the whole album. enjoy! :)
kendrick lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city (4)
and it’s round four. even though this one is rather fresh, its almost a classic by now. not few claim that kendrick lamar’s latest installment ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ is setting standards for contemporary hiphop music - and they definitely got a point.
gkmc was released on aftermath and interscope records just a few weeks ago, yet its already been creating quite a furor throughout blogs and magazines (with the likes of flying louts heralding lamar as the next big thing in hiphop. quite an accolade one might say.) lamar’s second full studio release features not only a bunch of quite interesting producers, like scoop DeVille, just blaze, the neptunes, and of course his long time mentor dr. dre that he has been releasing with before (word has it they teamed up on ‘detox’ and they obviously dropped ‘The Recipe’ earlier this year). for gkmc, lamar also invited a couple of mcs over to do some nice collabs, among other you’ll find some Jay Rock there as well as compton’s doyen MC Eiht.
one might say it has been a safe bet since the release of lamar’s mixtape ‘section 80’ that he might be representing a promising, uncorrupted and independent hiphop artist on the rise, a quite welcome refreshment to the rather popular side of hiphop (billboard top 20 btw) from overproduced autotune like beats you got to hear otherwise. it comes with 12 tracks, reaching from dark and serious rhyming to bouncing player tunes. for me, to be honest, gkmc turned out to be a grower. i kind of liked the beats and the sound right away. but i was not really sure about that tough gangster-player like talk you got to hear on the record. now after quite a few spins and after listening closer to what lamar is actually telling this first impression starts to change. the whole album is pretty conceptional, telling a quite riche and very authentic narrative about the life of kendrick - back in the days his rapper alter ego was k. dot - in his hometowm compton. its packed with dark stories about him, his homies, loved ones and his neighborhood and quite autobiographic. kendrick tells his stories with complex, fast paced and lyrical rhymes. great technique, great production, great beats (some samples are truly beautiful btw, like janet jackson’s ‘anytime, anyplace’ in ‘poetic justice’. that said, i’m still not fully over the bragging player lines. but that’s just my high-level nit-picking here.
anyways, as always i leave you with a track to listen to. this time it’s (the second half of) ‘the art of peer pressure’. good stuff.
phew, quite a lot of hiphop lately. well stay tuned there’s some jazzy stuff coming up, i heard. ;)
portformat - entropy. (3)
alright. round three goes to portformat, a quite astonishing producer, half german, half senegalese, who dropped is massive release “Entropy” on tokyo dawn records in june 2012.
it’s packed with 18 groovy tracks all the way from headnod-hiphop, downbeat, warm r&v smaples to quite danceable 4x4 grooves. and is full of interesting collabs, reaching from big names like georgia anne muldrow and dudley perkins to the likees of stan smith, cherri prince and miles bonny (this guy is the shit, stay tuned for more..;) portformat who goes by the name of ibrahima m’bodji (and just recently move to stuttgart by the way!) had his debut ‘the repeat factor’ in late 2009 on tokyo dawn as well. it’s also pretty nice, also full of collabs, and definitely worth a spin.
for now i leave you with this beautiful tune featuring the great gianna charles. bass please.
robert glasper - black radio: the remix ep. (2)
following up this little series, todays no. 2 is another big one. it’s (of course) robert glasper’s remix album of his major release from earlier this year, ‘black radio’ on blue note records. it’s been around for a while by now, but eventhough it holds just 6 tracks, it’s quite “rich”, one might say :)
the original is incredible brilliant, and for this remix ep he teamed up with the likes of pete rock, the roots, georgia anne muldrow - all that in addition to that super packed guestlist the original album featured in the first place (he got erykah, lala hathaway, king, yasiin, bilal.. you name it.) well as for the remix ep, it’s not quite touching the original record to me - but this is speaking on a very high level quality. black radio was probably a landmark release for hiphop and jazz music in general. the remix ep is a nice add-on to that, and quite catchy actually. i did in deed fall in love with ?uestlove’s remix of ‘twice’ featuring solange knowles and roots.
you can check it out right here - and then i strongly recommend listening to both albums. on repeat.
karriem riggins - alone together. (1)
okay, the thing is: there’s just so much music i discovered and re-discovered lately, i’m feeling pretty much like i could just spend all day trying to get what going on in my headphones. so i figured i’ll do a little one-week-mini-series on seven of my favourites of the last weeks. not going into deep detail but rather touching them all just a bit and adding some tunes to get the picture… and off we go.
1. karriem riggins - alone together.
after months of waiting jazz/hiphop drummer karriem riggins and producer finally dropped is first solo release ‘alone together’ on stonesthrow records. riggins has been very present in both, the jazz and the hip hop world, performing with the likes of mulgrew miller, ray brown, milt jackson, donald byrd, and roy hargrove as well as major hiphop greats, like dilla, slum village, erykah, madlib, talib kweli, the roots and dwele, just to name a few. well with this trackrecord you kind of could expect that his debut would be rather big. and it is. packed with 34 (!) beautiful, jazzy and groovy samples, nice skits and quotes and truly refreshing. just check out this incredible gem ‘summer madness s.a.’ full of warm beats, strings and love.
as the sample of this one is soo good, i just had to share the caetano veloso version of jorge ben’s ‘olha o menino’ from 1978 with you. pure bliss.
i just came across this massive collaboration between yasiin bey and the hyptnotic brass ensemble, in dedication to the great fela kuti, father of the afrobeat. on the occasion of last week’s birthday of the father of the afrobeat, fela fans around the globe got the gether to celebrate his music. one of this “felabrations” took place in chicago - it was quite a special one: right in the midst of the set of the amazing hypnotic brass ensemble none other than yasiin bey aka mos def grabbed the mic and they performed a heavily grooving version of fela’s classic ‘water no get enemy’. in addition to hbo’s pumping brass lines, yasiin dropped some lines of his black on both sides track ‘new world water’. well, you might just say they killed it:
oh, and talking about good stuff from the motherland: if you dig this you definitely might want to check out this super nice set by john morrison he did for this year’s black history month , featuring the beautiful music of fela kuti and roy ayers (!!!!), bob ohiri & His UHURU Sounds, max roach plus some decent classics by dilla, madlib, d’angelo and peter tosh. a true beauty.