Contrary to what MTV2 may say, there is still a hip-hop underworld that's exempt from the whole hyphy craze, and A Plus is evidence of this. Representing the Hieroglyphics squadron alongside Del, Casual, and Opio, A Plus crafts hip-hop purity that places more importance on wit and rhyme than on referencing the net sum of his bank account. On "Patna Please," Plus dishes out a live-bass-driven, marijuana-friendly anthem for the East Bay elite. If the chorus is the boss here, then A Plus is by all means the CEO.
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San Francisco-based beatsmith Deejay OM is quite possibly the only producer who cites a passion for meditation and Yoga while still pumping out tracks for Thrasher magazine skate videos. His latest album, Reheated Naan and Curry, is a collision of boom-bap beats and exotic Eastern flair. When an Indian spot opens up next to an indie hip-hop club, business owners would be wise to hire OM as a resident. Photo by Rosie Kaperonis.
Cadence Weapon is one of the few producer/MCs who has managed to master both elements of creation–especially at such a young age. 21-year old Rollie Pemberton has already remixed Lady Sovereign and Disco D, and he's penned a solid long-player for the Upper Class imprint (Shout Out Louds, The Russian Futurists). "Sharks" is more of the playful hip-hop that's making the kids save their milk money.
Somewhere in between the darker side of late '90s indie rock and dissonant shoegaze comes the San Francisco duo Ellul. The band's self-titled debut was recorded along the California coast in places as diverse as churches, industrial warehouses, and living rooms–which isn't too surprising given the the guys' lust for indie guitarscapes.. Anyone old enough to remember Caulfield Recordings will have their second coming.
Who cares if England-based Maximo Park's core audience is in their teens? The band's newest record Our Earthly Pleasures is far from immature. Featuring more of the driving guitars, danceable drums, and pop vocals the quintet is known for, this follow-up LP is heavy as a pocket full of rocks. "Our Velocity" is exemplary of a band who isn't afraid to branch out and make its own type of noise.
Since the mid-nineties, Someone Else has been crafting electronic music for the masses in one way or another. Whether releasing single after single through his electro-pop outfit Flowchart, through labels like Morr Music and Darla, or DJing at legendary spots like Fabric and the Panorama Bar, this certain somebody has his foot wedged in the history of dance music. "Pooty Call" is an exciting display of click-house that'll make any fan of the Pokerflat sound shiver.
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