Mo’ Ye!

September 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm (Kanye West, Music)

Unless you’ve been following Kanye WEst every friday, you’ve been missing a treasure trove of new material. Already ten new songs have surfaced, whether through his weekly downloads on twitter

The latest one is pretty big. Five guest stars, and almost seven minutes of on-point flows from a bottomless pit of guest stars.

Thematically, the song hits one of the most annoying notes in hip hop: self loathing over one’s own extravagance. It’s the kind of quality Lil Wayne reaches for when he wants to get poignant, in the form of: rappers repeating “fucking ridiculous” disapprovingly after cataloging their expensive nights. The beat is appropriately downtempo and tragic to almost lure you into their tragedy. The accompanying picture even manages to make a gorgeous supermodel look trashy and unappealing:

Thankfully, the flows in the song more than shore up any weaknesses it might have. From Jay-Z’s one line diatribe against critics (“Would you rather be underpaid or overrated?”) he recalls battle rap days of yore. More than that, every MC sounds hungry, like it’s a heated freestyle night when five people are competing for their voices to be heard. It’s the kind of lively, extended jam that rap doesn’t get enough of since Kanye West’s remix of Talib Kweli’s Get By. Its the kind of hungry flows that makes you think they’re more appalled by the decadence in their rap verse instead of their hotel room. And this is their penance.

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Dance Hall Correspondence

July 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm (Music)

Baths: Cerulean

This is an album that feels out of place, or at the very least, like it’s traveling. The beats bang with a composed wonk, the bass rattles in the mid to low end range that keeps hip hop heads bumping, and then an alto voice takes over the mic and passionately sings love songs.

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March 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm (Comic Books, Music)

Azrael: Battle for the Cowl #1 is really, really amazing. It’s been a while since we’ve seen some Frazer Irving. March 08 had Gutsville #3 with full interiors, and July 08 saw X-Men: Divided We Stand #2 with a short penciled by him, but man I miss an entire story handled by Frazer, and it’s totally worth the wait.

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New Vid!

February 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm (Movies, Music)

This one from Hauschka’s consistently excellent and occasionally sublime record comes this video of “Friebad”. What starts as unimpressive animation (don’t worry, the director doesn’t spend nearly as much time to paint his anthropomorphic cartoons as profoundly sad!) soon becomes a swirl of texture very appropriate to the music.

Hauschka has spent a lot of his musical career imbuing melody and harmony with textures in the preparation of instruments, most notably the piano. The song retains this playfulness in textures, and when the visual signification of the music emerges from its humble, emotive beginnings, it again leaves its texture on the sightscape in an astounding melange of color and melody. Hauschka’s lush instrumentation receives proper praise after colors and animals swarm the two musicians.

And this doesn’t even talk about the prfound syncretism that harmony brings later when the giant bubbling mass beings to soar in the air! An astounding video with a clear sense of style and formalistic play.

The video can be found here: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/download/149419-pitchforktv-hauschka-freibad-video-premiere

The entire trilogy’s available here: http://pitchfork.tv/special-presentation/the-hauschka-trilogy, and is worth checking out.

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New Music

February 12, 2009 at 12:53 am (Lilac Inferno, Music)

*I just realized how to turn off comment moderation, so now I won’t look like a stingy hermit about whatever anyone comment on my blog! Amazing!

Like a couple of you guys know, I moonlight (except during full moons when I become a werewolf and eat evildoers) as an electronic musician, and I have an mp3 from my band (Lilac Inferno) to show. It’s really out of place on anything we might do in the near future, and was a song we recorded right after we finished all the songs that found their way onto our first EP. (Sadly only available by me or one of my two compatriots physically handing you a copy right now, but we’re looking into making it available for digital download). (edit: now it’s available for download in wav or mp3 form! Check it out!).

It contains elements from the Beach Boys song “Had to Prove” so don’t tell Brian Wilson about it! But if anyone who owns the rights to that song objects to any of the sampled material, just email me at xyphap@gmail.com and I’ll either take down the song or remove the samples from it, promise! Jackson Floyd plays guitar, I (XyphaP) make with the laptop blips and bloops.

It can be downloaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/?mymvdgmnziw

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Listlistlist. How else does one express enjoyment besides comparison and competition?

December 25, 2008 at 7:38 pm (Music)

Best Music 2008

I’ve put way too much time and effort into this, and most of the list spotlights music based more on atmosphere and attitude than, well, musicality; Oh well, here we go:

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Here, We Take Our Playtime Seriously

December 5, 2008 at 10:42 pm (Music)


Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping

Although the offer looks like it’s gone out of print after pre-orders, the album was available in tote bag, t-shirt, compact disc, and vinyl format. Every version is available in this deluxe package, but it looks like only the cd and vinyl can now be ordered a la cart, but no matter how you purchase it, you are getting a visual treat.

The CD:

01413_skeletal_cd_unfolded1

and the vinyl:

01414_skeletal_lp1

Before even opening the package, it’s already intimidating release, more menacing and animalistic than the simply formatted mandalas from their last full length.

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Disclaimer: I’m a hip hop head who uses samples for his beats

November 19, 2008 at 8:21 pm (Music)

Come to think of it, I should promote myself a little more: here’s my myspace. Still coming to think of things, I should probably mention that I’ve just finished the first EP of my group, Lilac Inferno, and it’s available for free if you just message me your address at xyphap@gmail.com. It is just a CD-R with a paper tracklist, so expect Mos Def level packaging, but hopefully better content.

Anyways, I have a bigger post below where I take Common to town over an offhanded comment in an interview, one where the reader becomes befuddled at my overdramatization. This isn’t the theatre, you say, so maybe I should find a real enemy to battle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Blog Post About Kanye West

November 12, 2008 at 11:38 pm (Music)

Kanye’s latest album, 808s and Heartbreaks, has been a leaky, leaky ship. For reference, here are all the holes:

Love Lockdown

Heartless (here’s a video with good animation)

Tell Everybody That You Know (ft. Lil Wayne)

Streetlights

Amazing (ft. Yung Jeezy)

Robocop

Coldest Night

Besides those tracks, though, this is an album with some deep context. To get the most out of what it means, you can’t just hit play and listen to it, which is both its fault and its strength.

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When Comparisons Fail

November 12, 2008 at 1:02 pm (Music)

A review that doesn’t quite interweave Dungen’s 4 and Flying Lotus’ Los Angeles.

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