Hus Kingpin & Rozewood
Tokyo Tower Mixtape
Long Island contains many a village like Hempstead (home of Hus Kingpin) and Amityville (home of Rozewood), where scenes of abject poverty and lavish wealth are found mere blocks from one another. The close physical proximity of these disparate worlds and high frequency of their intermingling are quite possibly a few of the reasons Long Island has such a rich tradition of street-savvy poet/griots whose voices are every bit as laid back as their stories are crime-laden (Roc Marciano, Prodigy, Grand Daddy I.U., Erick Sermon, and Rakim all come to mind). Thematically, the Tokyo Tower Mixtape is deeply rooted in this tradition. And while conceptually this might not be the most original release of the year — in fact, fellow LI MC Ryu Black dropped a “Japanese vacation” concept album of his own back in 2011 — it is a solid mixtape that has me excited to hear the duo’s forthcoming debut album, $100 Taper.
As for the artists themselves, I was already familiar with Hus Kingpin from his work as one half of Tha Connection, who collaborated with Roc Marc on “Strive.” Hus and Roc also got together for “Warm Hennessy.” Rozewood, on the other hand, I hadn’t heard until now, even though like Hus and Tha Connection, he’s previously released music on Digi Crates. To my surprise, though, he definitely holds his own. Actually, his solo cut “Midnight Run” is one of my favorite tracks on the whole tape, possibly because it makes direct reference to the clash of classes mentioned earlier.
• Digi Crates: http://shop.digicrates.com
Oh, okay, fun times. Let’s have it. Getcha cocktail and spill it on the dance floor. You dance to this? So does my pants’ crotch. Hit it up. Ain’t got no number because it’s old-school like dat. Wanna sip? Gotta suck it off my feet. Or I can just snag another. Cran-apple and gin? Scotch and orange juice? The bartender don’t understand good English. Give him a good tip, and maybe he’s got a shot glass. “No, put it in my hands. Yeah, thanks.” I rolled my eyes, did you? Okay, thanks for the backup. No, I didn’t tip his ass. Oh, shit, you see her out there? I can’t handle that. What you got in the move, daddy? You papi me to that grind? Okay-okay, I feel that slow motion. Candy bars are better in king-size, amirite? Don’t melt, please. I don’t need no stains. Hollly, shit. How questionable is THAT? Drunk? Or she doing the Octopus?
The last Cult Cosmos meeting I attended happened in a — ahhh, a k-hole two years ago. No. It was at the planetarium across from the Colosseum. —Err, was it the winter tennis court? Just, gurrl, that pants bump getting starchy. Let’s get around that and wear gym shorts next time. Mix the outcum with the drinks on the ground. And who cleans this mess up afterward? Oh, no, he’ll be asleep there — cellphone in hand — into the next morning. That boii cleaning nothing. Yeah, he was talking at my face like he knew it and called me Tina. Clearly I’m a Jackie, yo. Feel that lip? Fight the urge. Take them wobbly synth vibes as your queue to noodle a new dance, and impress what you will without feeling the need to fight your way out of this situation. It’s all chill.
Fall through this Earth with Cult Cosmos’ new joint Octopus on the free-skrill via Bandcamp pleasantries.
• Cult Cosmos: http://cultcosmos.bandcamp.com
no input mixing board #8
Ahh, good ol’ high frequencies. If there’s one musical element that can clearly be divided into a distinctive love or hate category, it’s definitely this one. Part of this is clearly related to how these extreme frequencies can actually cause the human body to feel viscerally ill (extreme low frequencies can do the same). For this reason, I often meet fellow experimental music enthusiasts who can handle hours of blaring white noise but cringe when a high frequency sine tone goes on for more than 30 seconds. Neither of those sounds are going to top most people’s easy listening list any time soon, but it’s interesting how our basic physiology determines the way we experience these extremes. We can grow accustomed to both pure tones and noise, but most human beings have a threshold for such sounds after an extended amount of time. But give yourself over to some extreme sonority for a little while, and the experience can be cleansing, even meditative from a sheer sonic level.
Toshimaru Nakamura has in many ways perfected the art of making beautifully introspective music out of these extreme textures. Nakamura’s ubiquitous no-input mixing board can produce everything from guttural rhythmic low-end to beautifully harsh high-frequency drones, and the composer frequently creates gestural works out of the intensity of these sounds. On this preview of his upcoming album no input mixing board #8 , Nakamura produces a marvelously complex drone held together by two beating high tones that sustain into oblivion, while the white noise and different tones beneath subtly shift around. At only two minutes, it’s the perfect introduction to the hypnotic world of extreme timbres.
Listen to the track below courtesy of p*dis, and stay tuned for more information on no input mixing board #8.
• Toshimaru Nakamura: http://www.japanimprov.com/tnakamura
Brad Paisley (feat. LL Cool J)
Okay. I give up. I’m going back to bed.
• Brad Paisley: …
• LL Cool J: …
As a head space, words implicate thoughts on to paper and through sound. Sound creates meaning to verb and/or noun, as does the word to interpretation, and hearing is to actually believe in verbal reality. Collage in thought comes as frequent as your clock ticking to the next and the next and the next minute after, and you think it’s real. Nope, not real. Yet whole. But that moment before completely losing thought, when your brain moves blood to one side in order to think on the other, that moment… wounded in stifled thought… “Stanch.” Taping and drawing upon feelings and deeply forgotten memories and shutting them off. Flowing your natural thought and direction to another sensory overload. Is it a bucket or an actual drum? A masterpiece? Or is it tryna turn off your tape recorder on the other side of the most cluttered basement?
Freddy Ruppert has hidden his answers within the confines of his new NNA Tapes album, Hangs a Shadow. The entire release is of the original sort, but it plays out as though you’ve heard half of this release before but are unsure from where. It’s like, “Yo, that’s the clicking a crosswalk makes on Hyatt and Broadway in Tipp City, Ohio at the 3:41 mark of track 6, I swear.” And the memories will make you feel all sorts of emotions. It’s very enlightening and refreshing in a creepy, theoretical way, but it works, and words will be beyond the thoughts that’ve been shut off to you since that sound and the other sound and all them sounds.
Freddy Ruppert’s Hangs a Shadow is out tomorrow, April 9, on NNA Tapes.
The Korg Electribe ESX-1SD Music Production Sampler is a standalone drum machine and sequencer that has nine programmable drum parts, two synth parts, basic filtering and modulation capabilities, and a built-in tube amplification system. The producer/DJ known as Slava — born in Russia, transplanted to Chicago, living in New York — wants us to know that this is the only instrument he uses to make his music. If you’re thinking “I don’t care about how the dude makes it, as long as it sounds good and I can dance to it,” I assure you that Slava makes complex, danceable music — but I don’t share your philosophy. In the context of 2013’s digital omni-accessibility and profuse onstage laptop-ery, I fully dig witnessing Slava handle the Electribe in a live setting — programming loops on the fly, cycling through sequences, turning little gray knobs, and editing waveform parameters in real time. He operates remarkably within his gear’s limitations, cramming his tracks with enough house, footwork, acid techno, and 2-step signifiers to satisfy listeners from all of the cultures he’s dipped into since he set out from his homeland.
Slava’s debut album Raw Solutions drops on April 23 via occasional Electribe user/all-the-time synth sorcerer Dan Lopatin’s own Software label. In the video for first single “Werk,” we get a nice introductory look into Slava’s world: vodka, trippy virtual-reality backdrops, Adidas, silver-haired cyborg dance troupes, and plenty of closeups of both the man and his little red machine.