In these days of lo-fi renaissance, it’s not always easy to find a practitioner who’s been embracing crackles and hisses since the start, since before digital refinement was even an option. But Thomas Meluch — operating under the nom de rock Benoît Pioulard — is such an early adopter, having graced 4-track and cassettes with experimental folk since the mid-90s. DIY CD-R distribution soon followed, and now, flashforward, his efforts have earned Kranky Records to handle the legwork of hustling his goods. The point being, of course, that Benoît Pioulard has already had the time and career to refine his stratum of indelible folk into something harrowing and its very own. Quality, whether lo-fi or hi, does not appear overnight, and when it does appear, it can sometimes transcend the medium through which it was cut. So listen.
Here is the track “Margin” from Benoît Pioulard’s upcoming album, and a second track, “Hymnal,” should be dropping soon too.
Iboga Nights EP
If the only way out is the only way out, take the only way out. Slip around the cracks into where you see fit. The shadows are in your eyes and cover your body with a cool that only darkness can muster. Smoke this thick never rises so much anywhere else but right in here with sweetness and seer. Oh, and the usage of seer is a momentary fling here. As if these Iboga Nights were just burning, always. In a blaze of tandem and tedium and tact. All executed on the chopping block. Blindfolded in night vision. Devoured by dim-mentions of melody, feint in sound and echoing around the corner, coming from who knows where, but it’s matching and very driven. Iotide signaling the “OK.” Honing in hatred for the word “honing.” The fine line between listener and creator has been crossed. Become the being within this, within you. It’s a very rare moment, yet not as fleeting as rarity insinuates. Inhale Iboga Nights as Iotide provides a light.
• Iotide: http://lotide.tumblr.com
It’d be easy to dismiss The Underachievers as just another group of 90s hip-hop revivalists. It’d also be incredibly stupid and short-sighted. At 21 and 22, AK and Issa Dash are clearly mature beyond their years, and while they have no reservations about acknowledging the influence of those who came before them, their psychedelic-fueled spiritualism and overall eclecticism places them pretty far outside the realm of their forebearers, as well as that of their Pro-Era peers.
Still, what’s most appealing about this duo is not their weirdness or intelligence; it’s their natural chemistry. The two MCs trade bars with such grace that it’s easy to stop paying attention to who’s saying what and when. Their complementary flows are the mark of seasoned vets and could very well signal great things to come.
New Jet City [mixtape]
Last year, Curren$y released eight records. Lil Wayne only released one. Ipso facto, Spitta is probably the hardest-working heavy-hitter New Orleans got. Not one to balk at surpassing his precedent of proliferation, the king of chill-rap has just released New Jet City, his first release of 2013. It may have taken him over a month to get back to the grind, but Curren$y makes up for the wait with an impressive roster of guest stars (Rick Ross, Juicy J, Trinidad James), as well as production from Harry Fraud and Lex Luger, among others. This being Curren$y, there’s no shortage of hazy smoking jams (“Purple Haze,” “Mary”), but there are some unexpected twists; if you’re looking for a new song to set as your phone alarm, look no further than the Juvenile-assisted track “Bitch Get Up,” which will prove vital in preventing me from sleeping through my Dostoevsky lecture ever again.
New Jet City is, as usual, available for free over at Datpiff. We can probably expect another Spitta suite in the coming weeks/months.
• Curren$y: http://www.currensyspitta.com
“We prepare for the oncoming shift… we are ready to lose… the final grip”
The unceremonious introduction of a monster, a door slides away and the beatings begin savagely with as little fanfare as they always have, always will. The rattling of metal tools used for parting flesh from bone. The slow grating sound of rusted steel on steel. Flickering overhead hanging lamps swaying in the dark. The smell of blood and vomit-inducing rot. The promise of death delivered upon. Five years after the last “incident.” Because that’s how the truly dangerous operate. They need no impetus to suddenly re-emerge.
Hair Police’s Mercurial Rites is out now on Type. Surprise.
“Kingpinning,” from Mykki Blanco’s 2012 mixtape gem, Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss, has received a visual treatment from director Clarence Fuller, appropriately dark and dotted with bizarre images of some strange orgy to heighten the already-eerie beat produced by Brenmar. It’s a perfect representation of Blanco’s something’s-not-quite-right style, as the video plays out almost exactly like any other hip-hop video created in the last 20 years, filled with images of well-decorated people riding in nice cars through the city and hanging out at clubs. But it’s Blanco’s and, in the case of this video, Fuller’s ability to make something so strange out of something so familiar that really gives “Kingpinning” its standout quality above the thousands of other mixtapes caught in the interweb last year.
Watch the video and download Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss over here, if you haven’t already.
• Mykki Blanco: http://mykkiblancoworld.com/#/music