AUDIO: Depletion’s “Null Data II”

If something left of left of center is what you desire, you may want to check out an adventurous project from Depletion, which is described as “lo-fi tracks using various analog synths, electronics, tape-loops, effects, objects” and a nice slice of “etc.” For those who want it, it’s only cassette but only 30 cassettes are being made, each on a Chrome (CR02) tape. For more information, send an e-mail to holbrook1834 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

FREE MP3 DL: BXTR’s “Departure”

Soulful dance music with hints of dub and abstract beauty, it is what you’ll hear in “Departure”, a new track by BXTR. Some elements of this song could easily be heard in your every day pop music but this is not your every day music, and shouldn’t be, although you could easily turn it into your mantra this summer. Make it what you want but make it groove as you dance to the sensations.

AUDO: Middi featuring Fam Ross’ “4am In Etna”

As this song is being posted, it is 4am here in the Pacific Northwest. But in song, it seems to be “4am In Etna”. Who said this? He goes by the name of Middi, and on his series of songs being released every Monday, he has done a song with Fam Ross and producer ID Labs and here it is. If there is an Etna near you, it is 4am at least two times a day. If more than two, get and stay there for awhile.

FREE MP3 DL: 404WILL featuring Belle’s “Moet & Chandon”

If you are looking for a song that honors two alcoholic drinks, but you’re saying “I don’t drink but I would like to be seduced by a good song”, then check out this song by 404 WILL called “Moet & Chandon”. The Atlanta rapper is koined by Belle, so hear their union and get down with it in an intoxicating manner, with or without the rocks. Grab this song, for it is a free download, while supplies last.

SOME STUFFS: Kurz Konflikt turns Japanese on new album

Reiko – Geisha From Hell! is a new release by Kurz Konflikt that sounds like someone threw together sounds from random records and cassettes, then said “this is what I’m going to give you” and what does it sound like? You may hear a bit of Japanese lounge music, mixed in with something erotic or seductive but mixed in with random spurts of noise and you’re not sure if you should listen with pleasure or a different emotion. It’s scattered and is meant to be listened to with a good amount of concentration, but in between the chaos are burts of easy listening, exotica, and perhaps something else with the letter “E”. If you like what you hear, it will be pressed on cassette but only 100 copies are being made.

SOME STUFFS: Shit And Shine to release a new album in September

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If you have wondered when Shit And Shine were going to come out with new music, you already know a third of the story by reading the subject line. A new album called Everybody’s A Fuckin Expert will be released by Editions Mego on September 4th, the album has already been mixed and mastered, which means it’s ready to go. Here is the official track listing:
1. Signal Failure (4:57)
2. Upside Down Cheeseburger (5:10)
3. Bus Station (3:02)
4. Wespennest (9:00)
5. Hay Ride (5:10)
6. Chop The Night (3:29)
7. Working On My Fitness (4:06)
8. Picnic Table (3:50)
9. Ass (4:31)
10. Rastplatz (6:17)
11. Stockwell (4:47)
12. Clapham North (5:21)

For a hit of what they’ve been up to, take a listen to track #9, nicely called “Ass”.

The album can be pre-ordered by heading to or digitally from Bandcamp below.

AUDIO: Blkkk Spacey’s “Poizen”

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You might know him as a member of Chemical Ape but 17-year old Blkkk Spacey is trying out the solo route with a new album called Poizen. Call it a street album, call it a mix tape if you want, but as someone recently signed with Afro Junky Media, he wants you to get to know him a lot better with his solo project. Thea lbum features contributions from Sachee Sb, Lord Cream, and MF Skum and together, they trip out on the world an don themselves so for those who want their rap music to be on the adventurous side, you will definitely get into Poizen, appropriately named because it is a poison compared to most of the hip-hop getting a lot of attention these days.

REVIEW: Bvdub’s “A Step in the Dark”

Bvdub photo bvdub2015_cover2_zpsgz8ufayl.jpg A Step In The Dark (AY) is the new album by Brock Van Wey, this time under his “normal” moniker, Bvdub, but where is he at this time? His music is pretty much more of the same, where he’ll carry the listener into a zone and keep you there in a repetitive yet meditative state, feeling lost in the emotions he is creating but being elegant in how he does it. Some of the elements in this song could be considered electronic easy listening, but then again he has never hesitated to step into that relaxed state and allow himself to play in that style of creaminess. I enjoy how he’ll take a line or quote someone sings and just make that the melody for a healthy portion of the song. On this 78 minute album, six of the seven songs carry you over the ten minute mark so he holds himself in what he is known for, making it feel as if you are enjoying the ripple effect. It’s the ripples that you look forward to, to find out if you should go deeper or remain on the surface. The repetition of his minimalism is quite seductive, which continues to keep people lost in the eternal musical ripples that help him who he continues to be.

REVIEW: Nicolay’s “City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto”

Nicolay photo Nicolay2015_cover_zpscujpelif.jpg Go to any part of City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto and you may mistake this as something by Jazzanova or Mondo Grosso/Shinichi Osawa. The reason for that is because of the musicianship, the arrangements, and complexities but with any musician, it’s all in the composition and presentation that may make it seem complex and it may very well be as easy as a coloring book. For Matthijs Rook, it may very well be effortless but the easy in how he does it is because it’s true to him, his creations and playing come from the heart. As Nicolay, he continues on his worldly travels, in a real sense or metaphorical/musical. In the words of Elvis Costello, “if you’re out of luck or out of work, we can send you to Johannesburg.” For Nicolay, the inspiration is to take himself to Johannesburg and find an essence to some of his creations.

City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto is a nice blend of vocalized song and powerful instrumentals, with easy song being a diary of sorts on the journey of his existence and experiences. As the voice says in “Sun Rings/Uprising”, direct language is all about being literal, to be honest in front of you without fear, of what you see and hear. You can then say that Nicolay’s music on this album is very much performed without fear and doesn’t hide anything, for what he feels is what you hear and thus visualize upon listening. You may bring to mind your own tales or for the songs with lyrics, escape into their worlds for a few minutes. What you’re hearing is the sensibilities of multiple heart beats and despite each one being individualistic, they are somehow connected, his musical painting of what he felt over the years while visiting Soweto. One may hear the name of the city and think of the Malcolm McLaren song of the same name but Nicolay creates a much stronger picture, vivid and utterly passionate in its execution.

Vocalists Carmen Rodgers and Tamisha Waden make their presence known but for me, I don’t mind saying that when it comes to Nicolay, I want to know what Phonte Coleman is doing and where he plays on taking me with his performances. The duality of the Foreign Exchange union continues to thrive and while both of them are more than capable of carrying something unique on their own terms, there is a sense of magic that may be unknown but it is felt. It’s something to listen to, sit back and just say “this is what it’s all about.”

As with much of Nicolay’s work over the years, as the album goes on, there’s a sense that the travels will go further for many ears to come. As with any true musician and composer, he plays with a sense in making his music open-ended in a Duke Ellington manner, as if to say “to be continued”. You hear a song like “There Is A Place For Us” and know he’s about to pull you towards the finish line. However, you know the end as nothing more than the beginning of another path towards a new race to take yourself to, another challenge forthcoming. It may not be an actual battle against anyone but ones self, but it can be all about the survival of the fittest. When you are balanced with ones sense of self, it becomes automatic. Effortless. Easy. Another page in Nicolay’s diary has been turned. To be continued…

REVIEW: Blueprint’s “King No Crown”

Blueprint photo Blueprint2015_cover_zpsbmab8nch.jpg After listening to Blueprint’s brand new album King No Crown (Weightless), it made me ask something: has he changed? What prompted me to say this? A few things. For one the Printmatic one continues to be one of the most solid rappers out today, and has been this day since I first heard him 14 years ago in the song “Time To Unravel”. It was his verse that made me go “holy shit, who is this?” Ten years ago, I stated his 1988 album was one of the best of 2005 and ten years later, I still feel that way. I’ve enjoyed his work over the years so what made me feel he has changed in any way?

For one, he continues to develop and polish, if not fine tune his matter of speak, which means he does not want to sound exactly the same with every release. He is consistent but on this album he sounds more like someone who could easily be alongside the likes of Talib Kweli. Blueprint’s lyrics continue to be personal and while some of the metaphors can be heard within, it’s less about darting around the issue and being direct and to the point, whether it’s about a relative or his own progression in life. The type of flow I’ve always enjoyed from Blueprint happens in the title track around the 3:14 mark and it made me go yes, and while it is the only part of the album where he does this, it at least showed me he isn’t afraid to do that style that was a big part of what also made Greenhouse Effect great. What works on this album is that he shows more growth and maturity, to let people know where he came from, how traveling is a big part of his life and career and that he isn’t willing to keep himself back in time for anyone.

With a hint of ego and pride, Blueprint says he is more than willing to be the voice of a generation. He should be but the lack of a major label contract has kept him out of the loop. He is someone who not only has something to say for a younger generation but for older fans who simply want to hear the music continue as a vibrant artform that grows along with themselves. He is someone who has always understood how he wants to be heard by continuing to produce his own music, so what you listen to is the creation of the mind of Albert Shepard. Regardless of level of status, Blueprint remains a voice that continues to be a force that never loses its passion, and it’s from the heart that makes him move forward with new stories to share.