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Stefan Braidwood
27 October, 2005 12:00 am

    It’s fair to say that Adam Drucker has a unique voice. If you’ve heard him on record as Dose One, (whether solo, with Boom Bip, as a member of cLOUDDEAD or Subtle, and with beat magician Jel and keyboardist Dax as Themselves), chances are that his incredibly nasal but pliable tones either fascinate you [cont.]

19 July, 2005 12:00 am

    Initially recorded over 2 years ago, this collection of tracks by Ohio resident Dwight Farrell are a testament to his skills as a producer/emcee, as well as his determination to play the hip-hop game by his own rules, whatever the cost (hence the EP’s title). There are few cats realer or more dedicated to [cont.]

17 May, 2005 12:00 am

     Perhaps the only person in the game with more alter-egos than even fellow wild card producer Madlib, Guillermo Scott Herren has dropped two acclaimed albums of his distinctive glitch-hop sound as Prefuse 73, whilst spreading out into traditional Catalan songwriting (as Savath & Savalas) and Rhodes explorations (Piano Overlord), amongst other temporarily discarded directions. [cont.]

30 March, 2005 12:00 am

    Dizzee Rascal’s Showtime, starts with its title cut; a dissonant, sparse beat that feels like an intrusive hangover, over which his breathless flow ricochets in squeaky strange fashion. Oh God, not again. Why the hell do the press boost this guy over Brits like Skinnyman or RZA-collaborator Blak Twang? But then “Stand Up Tall” blasts [cont.]

22 March, 2005 12:00 am

      Always one to go his own way rather than join the masses, Bryan Hollon marked himself out as a unique talent with his very first record, the 2001 Dose One collaboration Circle, which took hip-hop to a genuinely anything-goes place that was as likely to employ gonzo metal and bizarre essays on the human condition [cont.]

12 January, 2005 12:00 am

     On his new album, Saul Williams (Nuyorican Soul Slam Poetry champion, writer of “Said The Shotgun To The Head”, spoken word artist, political activist, singer, MC) has really stripped things back. In a time when even Mos Def hides behind make-up and a pseudonym, seemingly grown bored with being an MC, this self-titled record [cont.]

19 October, 2004 12:00 am

    Rob Sonic is the mouthpiece of Sonic Sum, now spitting over his own beats whilst producer Fred Ones drops his own solo debut. Whereas Phobia Of Doors is as varied and colorful as the platoon of guest MCs it featured, this Telicatessen is a more homogenic and dour establishment, stocking fractured narratives from the white intellectual [cont.]

5 October, 2004 12:00 am

     DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing has spawned countless imitators since its release almost a decade ago, but it still sounds unique. On this, his first full-length, Diplo has delivered a sound just as inimitable and fully formed; but where Shadow’s soundscapes were by turn paranoid, menacing and ethereal, Florida rides stuttering crunk drum programming and warm basslines [cont.]

27 September, 2004 12:00 am

       Longtime partner of Rob Sonic in Sonic Sum, Fred Ones also goes way back with New York eccentric extraordinaire Mike Ladd, and helped record and mix the latter’s landmark Welcome To The Afterfuture, a record that was sampling Bollywood strings about 4 years before the mainstream caught on. With Sonic Sum’s The Sanity Annex [cont.]

7 September, 2004 12:00 am

“Selling a negative black experience/rap is a modern day Uncle Tom, yo/and actors, bacterias/fast and furious/challenge the master? Here he is/mass is curious/asking for serious/I outclass much more/than many and most/do a double detonation/for a deadlier dose/Got cuts, beats, rhymes/and do business/you don’t know jack if you ask: who is this?” On the evidence of Insight [cont.]

1 September, 2004 12:00 am

    DJ Krush has been putting out his dark, edgy beatscapes for quite a few years now, becoming revered amongst the jazz/electronica crowd as a “sound creator” rather than just a DJ or producer. His last album featured The Roots and some almost poppy female vocal numbers, and his beats are hard-hitting rather than artsy. If you [cont.]

17 August, 2004 12:00 am

     The Athletic Mic League are a sprawling Michigan crew consisting of 7 MCs (14KT, Buff1, Grand Cee, Haircut, Sonny Star, Texture and Vital Signs) backed by production clique the Lab Technicians  (CliffNotes, D.Techtive, Forecast and V-Tech). With this many contributors, there’s a risk that any joint undertaking might result in an incohesive mess (say, [cont.]

10 August, 2004 12:00 am

Compilation; no rating given. “Bring back/what hiphop lacks/with lyrical contact.” Thus the lyrics of a 10 year-old on Chick Tha Supah Latin & Fam’s “Contact”. Modern mainstream hip-hop, for all the beauty and precision of modern production, for all the musicianship of the ubiquitous Kanye West, for all the girl-friendly club beats, is severly lacking [cont.]

2 August, 2004 12:00 am

    “From the birth to the hearse/what’s your worth and your purpose?” If Non-Phixion’s The Future Is Now” established them as a symbol of hardcore hip-hop and violent anarchy, their writing on the wall drawn in blood and spinal fluid, Sabac’s debut places much greater emphasis on political matters and a conscious approach, albeit a rigorously revolutionary [cont.]

28 June, 2004 12:00 am

   Fans of Atoms Family will know that Cryptic One is their production mainstay, his booming basslines, crisp drums and cinematic soundscapes forming an equally dark yet more conventional alternative to El-P’s explosive grime. On Euphony he gave Aesop Rock the truly superb “Water” to flow over and dropped “Half Life”, whose elaborate concept and powerful [cont.]

21 June, 2004 12:00 am

    “This is probably the most challenging record that you have ever put on your turntable” claims tracks on this colorful first offering from instrumentalist, Sharkey. So, is he the next white DJ/super-producer after DJ Shadow  and RJD2 to shake the game up? Well, the simple answer is… no. This record is certainly mixes genres up more [cont.]

9 May, 2004 12:00 am

Compilation/mix cd – no rating given.      Although Jurassic 5 have been a staple of the West Coast scene for over a decade, touring incessantly, and Cut Chemist “rode the fader” into mix collaborations like the acclaimed Brainfreeze, the group’s co-producer, DJ Nu-Mark, has been more of a recluse. He’s obviously been busy though, as this [cont.]

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