Forget Suicide Squad, Jeremiah Jae and PBDY team up for only super group you need this summer!
I‘m not going to lie, the JP Moregun mixtape is a match made in heaven. Jeremiah Jae has released some of the most forward thinking and ground breaking Hip-Hop in recent years and PBDY’s beats, not to mention his We Are Tar label, have soundtrack more time in recent years than I care to remember. Now they’ve joined forces and the results are beyond flawless!
Honey I’m Home opens with a delicate sample that ends up being glitched to the Nth degree while a tight beat and Sopranos sample tells you everything you need to know about this mixtape. It sounds ace, will feature musical samples you won’t know and is loaded with more pop cultural references than an episode of QI! Millions Bucks samples the Sonics The Witch while Jae laconically drawls all over it, like only he can.
The stand out track is the English Channel. On this JP Moregun put their foot down and show us not only what they are made of, but what Hip-Hop should be in 2016. As the title suggests the lyrics drawn heavily on Jae’s time in the UK, and by the sound of it he watched a lot of BBC and Channel 5. But again its thanks to PBDY’s production allows Jae to shine. This time its French pop music that gets chopped and mangled into strange and unexpected territories!
PBDY’s productions feature samples of songs that on their own would make up your new favourite playlist, but being chopping, layered with film snippets, some incredible beats and Jae’s lucid abstracted lyrics they become something greater than the sum of their parts. You could spend the rest of the summer dissecting and analysing this mixtape, and I probably will, but you’ll miss the beauty and simplicity of it.
JP Moregun is the antidote to Hip-Hop that says nothing other than how wealthy and well-endowed it is. This is the sound of music being made for the sheer thrill and enjoyment of making it. Let’s hope the JP Moregun II won’t be too long in the offing. But as they say never look back, this is the winning seat!
Darko Riddims releases Hip-Hop that doesn’t mess about getting to the point, but at the same time it’s abstract as hell!
Hip-Hop has come a long way since Kool Herc and co. started finding jazz breaks and looping them at block parties. Part of me wonders if they would have known what was to come whether they would have got lawyers and copyrighted the shit outta their legacies? Probably not, but it whiles away some moments at work. Anyway, as I was saying, Hip-Hop it a varied and diverse beast now. If you can conceive it you can find it. Gangsta Trap, Goth Boom-Bap and straight up Grime. It’s all there, just a fingertip away.
On producer what manages to subvert all of these genres, while keeping in line with the original ethos of the genre is Darko Riddims. On his most recent album ATGS, Darko showcases his deft touch at production and composition. After a brief intro, the title track kicks things off in fine form. Disjointed basslines surge from speaker to speaker while a tight beat powers everything along. Good start. What’s up next? The Ministry takes a classical piano sample and chops its up, slows it down, then shoves a massive choir over it while a claustrophobic beats makes it far more edgy than it should have been. Over all great stuff!
As the title suggests The Scene sounds like a Mark Snow/Brad Fiedel mash up. Worryingly it works perfectly! After three flawless tracks The Arsenal takes a weird turn by starting with an Arsenal FC football chant intro that then goes into quite a hard and serious beat. The chant doesn’t appear again, making its inclusion confusing and disorienting. Did Darko think “This track needs something, I know a football chant!” or was the whole thing an accident? Either way we’ll never know, but it’s inclusion is jarring and bizarre. The Solution tries to get things back on track, but due to the intro of the last track, it doesn’t really work as we’re waiting for a moment of madness to derail a solid beat, bassline and synth melodies. The Technique is basically The Ministry Part II. Glenn Gould sounding pianos are backed by stark and menacing beats. All of a sudden a maelstrom of synths whips everything up, before calming down again. The Result closes the album. It’s like a trap Ennio Morricone remix. While it pops in the right places and has a nice bounce to it, it doesn’t feel as cohesive as ATGS’ earlier tracks.
Basically Darko Riddims makes the kind of Hip-Hop that doesn’t mess about getting to the point, but at the same time it’s abstract as hell! There are a lot of ideas going on and most of them work, but sadly when they don’t everything suffers. The overall point is good and the fact that nothing here is that conventional is a tour de force, but some of the samples and concepts don’t flow as well as they should. Saying that adding some of these tracks to playlists would be advantageous as would boost your reputation as being someone who knows about new forward thinking music.
Darko Riddims is a producer that needs to be monitored closely as it’s only a matter of time before he gets everything right and produces something that isn’t just abstract, but contagious too!
Baishe Kings remind us why we got excited about them in the first place on new mixtape SuperKush
“I can see the see, can you see the wave? Oh my days, trying to find a rave” is one of the first lyrics you hear on Baishe Kings’ new mixtape SuperKush. If you’ve never heard of South London’s best kept Hip-Hop secret, this tells you everything you need to know. Their lyrics are filled with these subtle lines that mix England’s past with its present. Oh my days was a line I grew up hearing every day and after I turned twelve I heard about raves most day, but until this exact moment I’ve never heard the two together. If you are a fan of everything Baishe, then this line will make you smile as you know they haven’t lost any of their charm and comic timing.
If this is your first time listening to the Baishe Kings, don’t try and force it and follow everything from start to finish, as you’ll miss some amazing name drops and beats. Instead just let it wash over you, but keep an ear open for some reference that seems tailor made just for you. While the lyrics are the heavy weight title main event, to use a Baishe wrestling reference, the music is definitely worthy of a ladder match or intercontinental title match. The beats are laid back with inventive samples that pop and fizz in the background, rather than banging and slamming in your face. If you think Tricky and Prince Paul you’re on the right track. In fact SuperKush sounds like the Baishe Kings only had the Tricky vs. the Gravediggaz EP as kids and decided to make music that sounds like it.
But enough about the music what about the all-important lyrics? If I was to list all the amazing rhymes on SuperKush this would just be an annotated lyrics sheet. Instead I’ll pick out a few that made me smile. Pennies contains a lyric that sums up Baishe Kings, and no it’s not about wrestling! “Hmm Bop, that’s Hanson. HA! That samples Hanson” gets spit, but there is almost a lack of belief that they’ve firstly sampled Hanson and secondly got away with it! You can almost hear him corpsing as he delivers it. Pennies also features the line “Ip dip dog shit, your boss is an idiot” takes a playground rhyme, but subverts it so that it applies to everyone’s feeling about their boss. Paperboy has the surreal line “Paper, paper, paper, big boy paper. A4 paper”.
As this is Baishe Kings have already released an album and two mixtapes so far this year, the quality on SuperKush is pretty high and consistent to what’s come before. This is only downside with the release. If these songs have just been gathering virtual dust why weren’t they released before, but if the deck is being cleared, when is the new ‘new’ material out? This will be answered in due course. And that’s the bottom line as the Baishe Kings say so!
Kwake Bass proves why he’s the one of the hottest drummers in the world with his debut mixtape
When Kwake Bass released this mixtape a few weeks ago I umm-ed and arr-ed whether to write about it, but I decided that I needed more time to digest it. After playing it on a semi constant basis since then, now feels like the perfect time. One of the factors for this change of heart is that he was part of Kate Tempest’s band when she recorded the exquisite Brand New Ancients album and was part of her live band for the Everybody Down tour. “But those albums came out in 2014 and the tour finished last year mate!” I can hear you say “Why bring that up now?” Well, dear reader, the answer is simple. Tempest’s debut novel The Bricks That Built The Houses has just been published, and it tells the complete Everybody Down story. Imagine that the Everybody Down album is the trailer for The Bricks That Built The Houses. The main characters are introduced and we get the idea of the story, but the allegory’s and themes haven’t been full explained. Sorry, I got carried away, this isn’t about Tempest, its about Kwake Bass!
The KwAke BaSs MiXtApE is twenty six minutes of some of the tightest drumming you’ve heard for a long time, and this is juxtaposed with loose electronic experimentation and sublime sampled loops. Opening with a self-referential tag “Kwake!”, that also pop’s up again and again throughout the MiXtApE. This helps sections and suites seamlessly blend into each other and gives the piece a cohesive feel. There is a slightly surreal and lurid vibe too. But unlike a lot of surrealism, the KwAke BaSs MiXtApE is grounded in the real world thanks to the beats, thus heightening its lurid feel and separating himself from his peers. Throughout the mixtape there are vocal samples from tracks that are clearly close to Bass’ heart. Dub roasts sit comfortable on top of ethereal siren-esque wailing vocals. It shouldn’t work, but it does, perfectly. Samples from 90’s video games are also thrown into the mix with wild abandon. Street Fighter II’s iconic “Yoga Flame” shout crests hard hitting beats and delicate piano riffs, to create something that is familiar, yet totally new and forward thinking at the same time.
What KwAke BaSs MiXtApE shows is that Bass does not only have the skills to pay the bills through his drumming, but he also has the scope and vision needed to create vast sprawling soundscapes. Let’s at least another hope for another MiXtApE soon, but also that proper long player is in the pipeline, as Bass is too gifted to leave us with this sole solo effort!