Layo & Bushwacka! - Love Story (Tim Deluxe Remix)
Memories can be crystallised indadvertedly by the conditions from which they were originally formed. For me, that means that when the weather starts to warm up, I am reminded of music that echoes past seasonal shifts in my own recollections.
Layo & Bushwacka! released their timeless classic Love Story in 2002. Admittedly, I only heard the song about 3 years later.
The song brings to mind late nights with good friends and warmer weather. The track has a simple chord progression looped, and this chilled melody is only heightened by the saxophone during the build up of the track about three quarters of the way in. Needless to say, the badass brass easily makes for a memorable listen.
Calm. - Treat Me Like A Villain
Calm. are a Denver duo consisting of Time and AwareNess. Their only collaboration album Anti-Smiles was released in 2006 and the opening track, Treat Me Like A Villain was not an easily forgettable cut.
Sampling Thomas Newman's Any Other Name from the American Beauty soundtrack, Time wastes no time introducing you to his pessimistic and witty commentary on the world. Due to the sporadic and unconventional flow, much of his wordplay and cunning metaphors can be lost on the casual listener.
You can follow along to the lyrics below. Enjoy.
"Calm, stay calm, just stay calm
People play every show like it’s their first
I play it like it’s my last
Cobain told me to stick with music, he said it was a blast
Don’t come up to talking without your mouth moving, I’ll know it’s merely a mask
Cause everyone’s fake, I feel like I’m walking through a wax museum
It’s funny how everyone has idols but they’ll never be them (be your own)
Every day’s a circular step closer to the climax of your dreams
Goals are affirmations and people are discouraging (so discouraging)
Fear is doing something you’re not suppose to
Success is letting yourself float with the current
Staying with the people you’re close to
Friends are time bombs, green with envy and red on the inside like a watermelon
Everyone I grew up with patronizes me like a superhero then treats me like a villain
But only vampires wear capes, only pharaohs are fed grapes
And only liars believe the truth
All the Lois Lanes I tried to save died so now god locked all the phone booths
I tried to run from my problems but my head was with me the whole time
So I’m looking for a guillotine that doesn’t have a 2 hour line
When I punch in I’m a part-time monkey washing floors and taking orders like a robot
When I punch out I’m a parking ticket collector who brags about all the doe he’s got
All the nothing I got
I’m not a super hero by any means
I’m an average Samaritan with doubts who likes to sing
I’m just another American caught in between
Inspiration and depression in front of a canvas
With no brush trying to paint his dream
But all I do is b**ch about how I can’t find my niche
While standing in a treeless forest holding a battle axe
Hate is a virus and it destroys habitats
Gossip is contagious, here’s some shut the f**k up pills, have a pack
I’m just trying to do what makes me happy, hoping to unravel some paths
Giving opinions the 32 degree shoulder, mutilating manikins murdering certainty
And stabbing the facts, with AwareNess’ knife
Keep running, the last guy that turned around found a javelin in his mask
I found anti-smiles on my mask
Now they say
Beauty’s on the inside but most humans are hollow
Tears on my blue face
Fear in my suit case
Give me a kiss, Chris I’ll be gone by tomorrow
I’m disgraced from face to shoelace, my shadow won’t even follow
And I know, that things will get better someway somehow and I smile
Cause I can see you clearly now
If love is blind then hate has 20/20 vision
So let’s give all the homeless glasses and all the teachers contacts
(AwareNess: Sometimes I’m scared so I ditch all my classes watching time fade)
So they can see their paychecks and every student in their overfilled classes
There’s a smile under these lips and mind behind these bloody nostrils
Every day’s a waking dream making the past a nightmare of fossils
No man is an island but I’m a peninsula surrounded by grief
Cry me an ocean or cry me a creek, drown me in your river
Cry me a planet then cry for relief
I’ve seen people smile so much their cheeks ache
Sometimes I stare long enough to watch until it decays
People are crops and humans are locust so…
Love is hopeless
Nothing is hopeless except smiles blood and…
Goals are the blueprints towards your dreams
But I ran out of bricks now passion is my cement
Every architect is my role model
I was happy being the captain ‘til I found out we were trapped inside this bottle
(smile and choke on yourself)
Cosmo Sheldrake - Rich (feat. Anna Roo)
Described as a “master-looper,” Cosmo Sheldrake makes some epic noises. His unorthodox means for constructing a song has earned him accolades by professional musicians and fans alike.
To really get an understanding of how Como puts together music from samples, off-kilter instruments and a frantic energy, you really need to check out footage of a live performance.
Even after watching Cosmo do his thing and the novelty of the live show has worn off, I am still convinced that the 23 year old musician has the goods to produce a damn good song. Get stuck into his other amazing recorded tracks (of which there are a current total of four-five floating around the web).
Yonas - Roller Coaster (feat. OCD: Moosh & Twist)
The youngster Yonas has taken an unabashed approach to his radio-ready hip pop music since emerging in 2012 with an album and a number of mixtapes to his name. The pop friendly, slick production complements his straightforward, uncomplicated rapping. Roller Coaster is taken from Yonas' most recent project, The Transition 2, which can be downloaded for free. His verse comes in last on Roller Coaster and he easily surpasses the skill of his guest counterparts.
This music obviously won’t resonate with a number of hip hop purists or self-proclaimed ‘enemies of rap’, but we like to think that our readers are open to looking past cliches and appreciating music behind the image and preconceived notions of genre conventions.
Download - The Transition 2 (mixtape)
Relaxin' Jackson (Nappy DJ Needles blend)
OutKast & A Tribe Called Quest - Relaxin’ Jackson
Comitting to make a full length release comprising of mashups is ambitious to say the least and taking two of the biggest groups in hip hop is going to attract a degree of scrutiny by die hard fans.
Nevertheless, Nappy DJ Needles has done just that, mixing instrumentals from A Tribe Called Quest with raps from OutKast’s career. Arguably the most recognisable songs from each group, Electric Relaxation and Ms Jackson meet on this mashup. The results are surprisingly good, combining the jazz sensibility of Q-Tip's productions with the heart-on-sleeve honesty and otherworldly raps of Big Boi and André 3000.
Track list and mixtape download link below.
- 01. ATCK Intro [0:20]
- 02. ATLiens To Go [3:19]
- 03. Skew It On The Scenario [3:07]
- 04. So Fresh, So Clean, So Butter [3:40]
- 05. Findawayinduetime [3:34]
- 06. We’ve Got The Jazzy Belle [3:41]
- 07. Relaxin’ Jackson [3:56]
- 08. Da Enemy of Storytellin [3:42]
- 09. Bonita Play On Elevators [3:25]
- 10. Wheelz of What [3:15]
- 11. Scenariosa Parks [3:13]
- 12. Royal Jam [3:15]
Download - A Tribe Called Kast
thE KindeR - Fliegen (Unifono Remix)
There really is something mystical about this track. Filegen (or the English translation Fly), is a dance track that takes haunting samples and recurring chimes to frame a watertight trance composition.
The way this song evolves is transfixing and listening with quality headphones is a surefire headtrip. The song builds gradually until about the 2:45 point when a harmonised but unintelligible vocal sample breaks the mould and things really get interesting from 3:20 onward.
The chime samples remind me of Pogo's Disney sample song from the Secret Garden, Mary’s Magic, spliced with a Blair Witch Project inspired rave in Germany’s Black Forest. I may not be too far off the mark there, considering Unifono is based out of Austria.
RJD2 - Since ‘76
I might just be speculating here - but I’m a little bit confident that RJD2 has taken samba and South American music on this track and chopped them up to make Since ‘76.
The track was a single on RJD2's second album Since We Last Spoke and it has definitely retained playback value for me after all these years. Hopefully it will do the same for you. Enjoy.
You Can't Go Home Again
DJ Shadow - You Can’t Go Home Again
The king of sampling DJ Shadow is often known for his standout debut album Endtroducing which obliterated the arguments of anyone still seriously contesting the legitimacy of sampling as an art form. But his second full length studio effort The Private Press tends to be brushed aside from public consciousness despite it being equally as strong as Endtroducing.
What The Private Press lacks in breaking new ground it makes up for in innovation and further experimentation. It is hard to pinpoint what it is that makes the album so incredible; perhaps it is the experience of being transformed to an unpredictable and exciting new soundscape with each track. This is definitely not 3 minute pop song territory, and DJ Shadow challenges the listener’s expectations by shifting focus and pushing boundaries with every new sample he uses.
Photo of DJ Shadow and fellow Quannum artist Chief Xcel in 1995.
Download - You Can’t Go Home Again (control-click, save as)
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