DJ Premier and Royce da 5’9” combine like Voltron to bring you PRhyme, one of the hottest hip hop releases of 2014. Primo samples live licks from Adrian Younge’s jam sessions, manipulating them with his MPC and scratching skills. Hip Hop’s favorite producer paints a dark soundscape for Royce and a slew of MC’s to spit over. Common, Jay Electronica, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller and Dwele all represent over his beats. Cuts like “Courtesy”, “U Looz” and “You Should Know”, all bring back that classic era Hip Hop sound on PRhyme.
Montreal indie rock quartet Our Friend And The Spiders play that Pacific Northwest flavored melodic guitar-pop, but without succumbing to any of the nasal-toned affectations that bled from Built To Spill into The Shins into John Vanderslice and so forth. Singer MatMo croons in a more throaty tone with an assertive delivery that helps give these songs more muscle than the sum of their contemporaries. Special attention is paid to the rich, tonal voicing of what sounds like a vintage guitar and boutique amplifier combination, courtesy of guitarist SebRod. But it’s the vacuum tight rhythm section of bassist Pascal Sauvageau and drummer Phil Grant that gives OFATS the propulsion of a well-oiled engine.
The debut EP from these knuckle dragging, psychedelic stoners is a primo slab of gloriously plodding, behemoth-like, lo-fi lumber. Imagine the Sabbathy swing of Sleep, but slowed down and sludgier, doused in muddy murk and wreathed in bongsmoke. A sprawl of tarpit riffs slathered in crumbling distortion, the drums like someone hitting the side of a dumpster with a wet mop… It’s a wasted, washed out, sinister slither, equal parts mesmerizingly motorik, caveman krautrock, pounding dinosaur doom, tranced-out hypnorock heaviness and spacey, psychedelic, slowcore crawl.
Alina Baraz & Galimatias – Drift
When Alina Baraz and Galimatias get together, some very lovely sounds emerge. Galimatias’ draped up and dripped out beats are delivered ultra-slow, combining acoustic instruments and synth swoops. Paired with Alina Baraz’s controlled-yet-emotional delivery, their new single, “Drift,” is a sublime mix of soft and hard wrapped-up in silk gauze. If you’re digging their sound check out our Future Soul genre station for more syrupy R&B beats.
Rings of Saturn – Lugal Ki En
The (very much disputed) kings of technical sci-fi death metal return with their latest collection of impossibly complex heaviness. In fact, their output is so complex that they’re often accused of assembling their records digitally, with the argument being that no humans could play music so complicated, or so fast. But really, whether human or cyborg, Rings Of Saturn have delivered what might be the most dizzyingly, next level death metal record ever, fusing flurries of downtuned chug and churn and bursts of brutal buzz and blast, with crazily tangled trills, alien guitar Frippery, spidery squalls of angular melody, lysergic metal-prog mathiness, ethereal psychedelia, and maybe oddest of all, some surprising prettiness, that somehow doesn’t sound at all out of place.
La Playa Sextet – Separala Tambien, Cantando Tito Rodriguez
The folks at Código Music, shepherds of an immense catalog of vintage Latin music, the best known of which is the Fania label, have reissued yet another indispensable gem of music history with La Playa Sextet’s Sepárala También, Cantando Tito Rodríguez. Originally released in 1971 on the New York-based Alegre label, Sepárala También compiles a decade’s worth of collaborations between the electric guitar-driven Playa Sextet of Payo Alicea, and the golden throat of Tito Rodriguez, one of the most prolific and celebrated voices of Tropical music. The sessions have a loose, warm feeling, as the group swings their way through a masterfully interpreted repertoire of sones, cha cha chá’s and boleros.