Having remixed Radiohead's In Rainbows and jumped through cease and desist hurdles to do so earlier this year, Oakland-based producer Amplive has made a name for himself turning rock numbers into bouncing hip-hop tunes. For his latest project, he looks to the indie-poppers in Of Montreal, pitting the group's "Fabrege Falls for Suggie" against MGMT's "Future Reflections." The result is some bizarre amalgamation of classic rock, hip-hop, and synth-pop that we're feeling here at XLR8R.
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A follow-up to the group's 2005 self-titled debut, The Biggest Piano in Town finds New York-based outfit Grand Pianoramax mixing funk, spoken word, and hip-hop together, with emphasis placed on, naturally, the piano. Group leader Leo Tardin has a knack for chord progressions on the keyboard, and on this track shows off his jazz chops while a crisp snare keeps beat in the background. For the album, Tardin brought on everyone from New York drummers Deantoni Parks and Adam Deitch to spoken word master Mike Ladd and Platinum Pied Pipers MC Invincible on board for guest appearances.
Minimal techno innovator Alex Smoke collaborates here with MC Non of Shadowhuntaz on a new project from Smoke's Hum+Haw label. The duo uses the moniker FOOL to release politically charged tracks that combine Smoke's damaged techno productions and Non's head-nodding, dark lyrical flow. Glasgow's Rustie, a young, burgeoning star in his own right, remixes the lead single, "Drama."
In case you missed our announcement awhile back, Hakan Lidbo and the Swedish Space Corporation are collaborating to send a music signal into outer space. The signal, featuring tracks from a compilation of Swedish artists, will blast off toward a hospitable-looking solar system on June 4. Hopefully the project will reach intelligent life, "so that," Lidbo has told us, "[it] can receive and decode the signal and hear the music." By all calculations, our solar system could be receiving a response signal as early as 2030. We're keeping our fingers crossed. Music for Alien Civilisations, featuring this Lidbo track, will be released on Earth, too, but keep in mind that the music "really is not meant for human ears–but for beings in unknown worlds." Wyatt Williams
L.A. rapper and erstwhile Project Blowed member Kail examines every nook and cranny of his hometown's streets on his latest Alpha Pup release, True Hollywood Squares. As its name suggests, the album takes a close look at the less glamorous aspects of Tinsel Town and the characters who inhabit that space. His lyrics, which straddle the line between unflinchingly honest and outright hilarious, fit smoothly over an 8-bit-driven hip-hop beat that keeps the brain thinking and the ass shaking.
Named one of Modern Drummer magazine's Top 10 Progressive Drummers of Today, hip-hop/experimental artist David Ramos has a musical resume that includes everything from performing with folk outfits to making beats for the likes of Busdriver and Aceyalone. His forthcoming debut album, This Up Here, showcases his multi-instrumentalist capabilities, with an army of synths, acoustic guitars, glockenspiels, keyboards, and "shitty drum machines" bouncing off one another. And of course, what's an album these days without a little remix treatment? Here, Ramos' brother Ceschi chops up the drum beats and adds some ambience to the original track.
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