Atmosphere – She’s Enough single
For some reason, without knowing too much about Slug, I think he’s turned a corner in his life. When Life Gives You Lemons… was a great album, but it had so much angst.
She’s Enough is the most positive track I’ve heard from Atmosphere in….ever? They’ve had albums devoted to the pain and hate and struggle of a single past relationship. This feels downright cheery in comparison.
Ant, as always, crafts clever, catchy beats with so, so much character. The instrumental version is perfect.
Such a great track.
Zion I & The Grouch – Heroes in the Healing of the Nation
Some sort of confluence has happened with me. I’ve heard Zion I before, and I knew there was something eerily familiar about the Zumbi & The ARE’s The Burnerz, and Pigeon John mentioned The Grouch as one of the reasons he got onto Quannum. AmpLive did a remix I’d really enjoyed sometime last year. Here we are, all of these artists on one album, and boy is it good. Oh wait, I’ve not even mentioned the guests…
Only yesterday I listened to a 2009 podcast from Seattle’s KEXP where Zion I perform some of their tracks. Much learned, and even more respect given. I finally hit up Wikipedia to get even more information and clarification.
This album is, as its name suggested, a positive effort to get people to be a part of a healing effort. To that end, they’re touring presently, with a stop in Park City’s Star Bar next week. Proceeds of these shows go to a variety of charities. Now that’s positive.
To the music, well, the beats are fantastic. DJ AmpLive has a touch with many of these cuts that is brilliant. I’m a big fan of the UK Grime and Dubstep scene, and tracks like Rockit Man, Drop It On the 1, and others are heavily influence by these scenes. Thankfully these aren’t just rude transplants of beats, sloppy and misplaced. AmpLive really, really knows his trade.
The Grouch is one of those talents whose voice I’ve heard only rarely, but feel refreshed to now experience. His presence on the mic is strong, knowledgeable, confident, and smooth. Zumbi’s style and presence compliment this, with more of a playful and clever delivery. Both of these MCs are top notch.
Fantastic album. Can’t wait to see these guys live and get the healing going.
Rocky Business – A Rebel’s Roar
These guys are new to me, and without doing some digging, I can’t say if I’ve ever heard of them.
Decent album, though only Glide and Rocky’s Theme are tunes I’d play on the show. The other cuts range from an indie sound, 90s DnB, to jamming rock. It makes for a diverse album, and the talents of the artists here aren’t wasted, because there are only a few tracks I didn’t like.
Interesting stuff, and I’m glad I have a few to spin, because they’re very good.
Jib Kidder – Library Catalog Music Series: Music for Hypnotizing Minds
This is probably the fourth or fifth of this series I’ve received. Some have been good, and this is one of those for sure, but another from B Lan 3 was just awful.
Jib Kidder has dived in to the Asthmatic Kitty archives, using a laptop and a Technics 1200 turntable, and produced this very interesting release.
The artist is a new one to me, but he will have a place in my playlists for years to come. I’ve always been a fan of DJs and artists who can take a boatload of samples and make something out of it. DJ Shadow, DJ Signify, Blockhead, DJ Premier, and others I’ve listened to over the years have made careers by creatively sampling music and recompiling it.
Every track on this album is interesting because of how it’s been created. Suspension 1 might be the best example of how sampling can take what’s probably a total of 20 seconds of music and make an entire song out of it. Breaks used to be a clever way to make the sweetest part of a song into the crucial part of the new track, like the legendary Amen Break. This track uses some guitar and drums to draw us through three minutes wonderfully.
Reflection, Cruising 1, Blue, and Together are my other favorites from this album, though you can’t much go wrong with any of it.
Pretty neat album.