Last year Mac Miller’s Best Day Ever mixtape will stand out for me for a number of reasons. True, it was laced with all manner of debauchery. But interspersed between the cusses and bravado was an undeniable positive outlook on the future.
I’ve chosen to feature the instrumental remix version because you can enjoy it anytime, anywhere. If you want to hear Mac's verses you can watch the film clip here.
No I.D. is would have one of the most impressvie resumes, having worked with a smorgasbord of hip hop’s commercial elite and recently completing executive production rights on Common’s acclaimed The Dreamer, The Believer album.
Hermitude come together once more to leak the title track from their upcoming album on Sydney based label Elefant Traks.
Judging by this track and the first single, El Gusto and Luke Dubs are continuing with their sample and synth-heavy approach to production while incorporating a range of exotic instruments to create a more upbeat brand of dance-friendly music not heard on their previous 3 albums.
It’s exciting times as fans will not have to wait much longer to hear what else Hermitude have in store on HyperParadise. The album will be out on Feburary 3rd.
The other week a friend put me on to Little Joy and I have been loving their music all summer.
The group consists of Rodrigo Amarante, Binki Shapiro and The Strokes’ drummer Fabrizio Moretti. The band have an undeniable talent for making music together. A recommended listen for sunny days at the beach or by the pool.
Since their debut album in 2008 there has been not much correspondence or information regarding any new material. Let’s hope it doesn’t stay that way for long.
You youngsters might think that silky mullets and eyepatches are unfashionable. But back in the 70s, men were rocking them everywhere on the wheatfields of the U S of A. Well, for-shame I say! There was a time when they ruled supreme and time can be cruel to the fashions of the day!
Nevertheless Kansas' opus, Dust In The Wind remains timeless. Mashup master Z-Trip leaves this acoustic number mostly untouched, save for a funky hip hop beat. With this simple addition, he managed to make Kansas’ music approachable for those of you who might not have been instantly won over by the group’s fashion sense.
The track appeared on Uneasy Listening Vol. 1 in 2001 and only 1000 copies were pressed. Enjoy!
Panacea - Colourful Storms (Damu The Fudgemunk Remix)
Good hip hop is a treat to behold - but when you’re perusing through Damu The Fudgemunk's catalogue, your chances of finding it become a lot easier. Damu knows exactly how to create that golden era 90s hip hop style instrumental and the vocals also emit positivity that is hard to bypass.
If you’d like a free download, you can get one here by right clicking and saving the file. Enjoy.
The Fugees made amazing music during the 90s. Fu-Gee-La was the first single from their highly successful sophomore album The Score which has gone on to be multi-platinum worldwide and is generally regarded as a classic in hip hop and a classic album in its on right.
The group disbanded after The Score and all three members launched successful solo careers, perhaps none so notable as Lauryn Hill. She remains to this day my favourite female emceee and vocalist. Her distinctive voice and vocal range give her an unmistakable presence that manages to draw in even casual listeners. You can’t help being blown away by the power behind her singing and the soulfulness found in her expression. It’s no wonder she married Rohan, one of Bob Marley’s sons. We can only hope their children release music when the time is right.
Back to the song now.
The group never sounded more at ease with one another than on Fu-Gee-La, of which there were several alternative versions and remixes made. My favourite mixtape DJ and producer J. Period handles the mashups and blends for this track. It was released a few years ago as The Best of Lauryn Hill Fire & Water, a double disc mixtape. The mixtape boasts 82 songs and covers the career of Lauryn Hill’s music including the singles, unreleased songs, exclusive remixes and interviews with the musician. I recommend you hunt down a copy if this is your kind of music. Enjoy!
Melbournian beatsmith and musician Chet Faker released some free instrumental tracks this New Years Day.
North would have to be my favourite. It begins slowly and builds. A nonchalant riff grows in intensity as a steady drumbeat comes to the forefront of the lucid song. This is accompanied soon afterwards by distant melodic guitars that echo around the soundscape of the riff.
Just after the 2 minute mark ghostly sounding keys and a thick bassline work together to give the riff a haunting element. The result is that the melody works its way slowly into your subconscious and chances are if you listen all the way through, you will probably want to also put the song on repeat and allow it to wash over your thoughts.
Here's the download link to to North and you can stay updated on Chet's activity by following his Facebook page.
Before Jurassic 5 split up, DJ Nu Mark was a full time member, DJing and producing for the group. During this time he also released a collaboration album with Pomo, called Blend Crafters. This track was taken from the album.
Imagine is basically a hip hop/jazz cover of John Lennon’s original. The song is short and clocks in at just over 3 minutes. It’s definitely a laid back reimagining.
The Icelandic frontman of Sigur Ros released his debut solo album back in 2010. While I’m not the biggest fan of Sigur Ros' back catalogue, I've always appreciated their entirely unique musical approach.
Instead of attempting to explain Jónsi’s music, I’ll let the music speak for itself. Jonsi holds nothing back on this highlight.
Enjoy with an mp3 download (right click and save file)
Sister Crayon are a group based out of Sacramento led by vocalist Terra Lopez. The group have boldly covered a stripped back version of Sufjan Stevens' (pictured) Futile Devices.
The original song was taken from Steven’s The Age of Adz album - An apocalyptic, transformative recording experience.
While it would be impossible to outdo Steven’s on his own song, Sister Crayon do an exceptional job covering the album opener. They also don’t stray too far from the original and keep with the songwriter’s subdues, introverted style.
BLAM! I heard this song today and knew I had to stalk it, hunt it and GET IT by any means necessary. No, I’m not a serial killer.
The group are from Brisbane Australia and they encapsulate the beachy vibe felt through coastal Queensland. Some of the best beaches and certainly the best coral in the world can be found in Queensland.
Twin Rays is definitely an impressive debut single. The track is currently on high rotation on Triple J.
Cherish the grooves by right clicking here and saving to download the mp3
The Very Best feat Ezra Koenig - Warm Heart of Africa
Artists from 3 continents come together on this song. How excellent is that.
The Very Best is Esau Mwamwaya, Etienne Tron and Johan Karlberg. Esau from Malawi in East Africa and the others are UK residents.
The Very Best formed after Esau came to the UK in 1999. He was working at a second hand furniture shop in east London and sold a bicycle to Etienne. Etienne introduced him to Johan and the group was formed.
In 2008 The Very Best released a mixtape and their full length album a year later, sharing the same title as this single, Warm Heart of Africa. Just from listening to this song, you can hear the African musical influences coming through.
The drum and synth driven track features Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend who joins in to share vocals with Esau. An appropriate guest spot considering that Vampire Weekend draw influence from afrobeat and other African elements in their music.
The collaboration is colourful and joyful. The different languages and range in musical genres covered in this song enhance what otherwise might be a repetitive track.
The group are due to release more music in 2012.
Relive the vibrance with an mp3 of the song (right click-save as). Enjoy!