Album Reviews

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K-Def Tape One Marley Marl

K-Def – Tape One (Album Review)

K-Def, a New Jersey native, spent a substantial amount of time in New York during the “Golden Era”, immersing himself with the culture, the clubs, and then hitting the records stores in both cities for sample fodder. The result was many of the beats featured on this cassette; his résumé to Marley Marl fused on a [&hellip


Mndsgn – Yawn Zen (Album Review)

Breatharian, the 2013 concept album from Los Angeles producer Mndsgn (pronounced “mind design”), a.k.a. Ringgo Ancheta, is as good as spacey instrumental hip-hop gets, with imaginatively produced soundscapes and crazy flips of Stefano Torossi’s ill 1974 instrumental “Running Fast” and the OutKast hit “B.O.B.,” which gets sped up to the point where Alvin and the [&hellip


Souls of Mischief and Adrian Younge — There Is Only Now (Album Review)

If there’s one thing the Oakland group Souls of Mischief — Opio, A-Plus, Tajai and Phesto — is known for, other than the classic “93 ‘Til Infinity,” the still-fresh-sounding 1993 track that brought attention to their remarkable and relaxed chemistry as an ensemble, it’s consistency. Not once have they recorded a terrible album. (Plus they [&hellip

Algorhythms EELRIJUE Quandary

Algorhythms – EELRIJUE (EP Review)

Frankly, trying to review this album sent me into Barton Fink-mode. For a while, I planned to settle on that single sentence alone as my review. Only after several repeat listens could I begin to wrangle some verbiage. What is EELRIJUE? Is it an anagram? The name of an ancient Nordic sea serpent? This was [&hellip

Madlib Pinata Beats Review

Madlib – Piñata Beats (Album Review)

When the Madlib-produced Freddie Gibbs debut Piñata came out a couple of months ago, critics began levelling heavy praise at it with the fervour of a birthday kid swinging his bat in a sugar-rage for more confectionery innards to gorge on. I didn’t feel so strongly about it. Gibbs’ flow was nice enough, and there’s [&hellip

Raw Poetic Kev Brown Review

Raw Poetic & Kev Brown – Concentrated Maneuvers (EP Review)

When it comes to hip-hop history, Washington is often overlooked, rarely receiving a mention in comparison to the likes of New York, California and the South. And yet despite the cities low-key profile, it has delivered a number of hidden gems, with albums from the likes of Oddisee, Asheru and Panacea springing to mind. Kev [&hellip

DJ Qbert

DJ Qbert – Extraterrestria (Album Review)

In a brilliant strategy that’s enabled him to satisfy two different kinds of fans, Bay Area scratch legend DJ Qbert dropped two crowdfunded albums simultaneously on iTunes on July 1: the all-instrumental album Extraterrestria and GalaXXXian, a collection of radio- or club-friendly yet still unmistakably underground-sounding joints with guest features by the likes of Kool [&hellip

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