Vanese Smith, a.k.a. Pursuit Grooves makes an intimate, tender version of boom-bap, and the style has served her well over the last year. The astro-beat maker has been compared to the likes of Dilla, Cameo, the Bling 47 crew, and others, and Jay Scarlett selected a track from her Fun Like Passion album for his recent Beat Dimensions compilation on Rush Hour.
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What's not to love about a band that recorded its debut album in an all-ages, downtown L.A. venue called The Smell, on obscure equipment as old as the club itself? HEALTH has been cultivating such eccentricities as this since its inception, sharing the bill with friends like No Age, The Mae Shi, and even helping Crystal Castles find its 8-bit sound on a split 7". This version of "Triceratops" comes form a new remix collection based on the group's September 2007 self-titled full-length.
The four members of Pissed Jeans are obsessed with avoiding what they call the "Straight World," a "shallow, soul-sucking vortex," and every second of their music is a testament to this. "I've Still Got You" is somewhere between hardcore and hard rock, and calls to mind sweaty, underground rock clubs where people tear their shirts off and stage dive to make cathartic statements about the world that surrounds us.
When faced with the problem of how one makes indie hip-hop sound fresh, many artists look backwards to the boom-bap of the genre's golden age. Not so for Baltimore-based trio Food For Animals. Rappers Vulture V and Hy bounce lyrics back and forth while Ricky Rabbit's fractured beats provide a futuristic, sometimes puzzling, but always interesting foundation for the tracks.
Until the release of My Last Day earlier this year, Kim Hiorthøy hadn't released an album in seven years. It seems, however, that his hiatus was not in vain. The Norwegian producer came back with an album that blends his trademark folktronica with jumpy synth riffs and disco beats, thus proving him worthy of a place among both leftfield and electro artists.
Jahtari founders Rootah and Disrupt join forces again, for a jam session based on a long-forgotten Wackies riddim. Working together as Jahtari Riddim Force, the guys pile organ melodies, intricate basslines, and hypnotic beats over the track's dubbed-out foundation. Listen carefully–these two like to throw in as many musical surprises as they can, from 8-bit blips to analog tweaks.
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