“Harlem Roses” (ft. Kid Art)
Harlem’s been making a serious comeback over the past year or so. Between A$AP and Azealia, it seems like all the hot talent is simply popping out of a portal somewhere in that area north of 125th street. At the same time as Dipset’s stomping grounds are enjoying more cultural attention, they’re getting a facelift, too: gentrification is slowly making its presence known, as Columbia University expands northwards and real estate prices rise. In his new clip for “Harlem Roses,” Harlem native and respected MC Vinny Cha$e explores the changing landscape of his neighborhood, re-visiting landmarks like the Apollo and the Lenox Lounge alongside familiar stoops and storefronts. “A few years ago, growing up in Harlem, I could never imagine that there’d be luxury building here,” he says. “Why the fuck would you put a 2 million dollar penthouse down the street?” Forget the luxe caviar and two-million-dollar views: Cha$e and the rest of the Cheers Club would rather kick it at the luncheonette down the street, a safe haven in a sea of change.
• Vinny Cha$e: http://cheersclubmusic.tumblr.com
“Life Ends At 30”
Is this real? Are music listeners to the point of complete blow-out beat aesthetic? Has death-to-disco officially merged with disco itself? I mean, TMT is into the decay, the skips, the Gouda up in this shit. Because, you know, I READ me some TMT (‘_’). And Pete Swanson’s “Life Ends At 30” continues that same avenue of venture in music. Life, yeah, fucking living it. Blown to shreds from everything. Sure-sure. Turning your taxi into the official NYC dance club. Dec-out your cubicle with strobes. Be a strobe. Be up until dawn playing video games and listening to this on vinyl and talking on Xbox live and videoing on Skype and turning Hellraiser into a tiny blip on your television screen and feeding porn through your laptop and falling asleep eventually to dreams like the “Life Ends At 30” video (by Tone Filth’s Justin Meyers) and waking up 30 minutes later for your day-long job. Kill your SELF and become. Accept it all in waves of grain. Give up your Pro Style EP and quit thinking about when Swanson will hook up with Lopatin, ‘cause your answers are coming March 12!!
“Magic Spaceship” (ft. Sean Price, B. White & Beedie)
It may have a thriving punk scene, but when it comes to the rap cred of the five boroughs, Staten Island has almost always been ranked last. But as it turns out, the “Forgotten Borough” is also home to one of New York’s hidden gems. Git Beats (pronounced “jit”), a rapper who cut his teeth producing tracks alongside Alchemist and DJ Z-Trip, is quite the connoisseur when it comes to beats: he made an appearance in the 2004 vinyl documentary Deep Crates. Git’s ear for originality is showcased on his new, self-produced Basement Ghost LP and especially on “Magic Spaceship,” a trunk-rattling, psychedelic posse cut featuring fellow New Yorker Sean Price and Pittsburgh MCs B. White and Beedie. It’s straight-up NASA boom-bap, complete with spooky wails, laser-y synths, and black-hole-sized bass. If this is the Staten sound we’ve been missing, all the more reason to take the ferry more often.
• Git Beats: http://gitbeats.com
So, I assume errrybody you know (and yourself) is fluing up way hard this season. Well, my brother Todd was in New York during the holiday conducting some sort of internalized confidential experiment, and, you guessed it, the experiment went pandemic, and America has been sick with it since. Like, this ain’t no shit. Mickey saw them post his picture on two local NY television late-night news programs. Actually, I just saw on the office building lounge television an artist’s interpretation of Todd, and it was the devil. And, like the wave in the TigerStripe video for “Genesis,” the pandemic stretched itself going west. Kind of like watching the weather forecast, only this flu wind is traveling back in time and space, the same travel TigerStripe commits to on his new release Prismacolour, his extremely adventurous (to my enjoyment) follow-up to 2011’s Imaginary Numbers on Digitalis. Coincidence or not, the relation of this video to my bro’s pandemic is a sign, y’all. Secrets are being spilled, and Prismacolour contains them. You want a cure? You want answers? Scope Prismacolour as soon as you can handle it!
• TigerStripe: http://iamtigerstripe.tumblr.com
“Behold (Exhibit J)”
Listening to Just Blaze’s latest house venture, “Behold (Exhibit J),” it may seem hard to believe that the man behind the console is the same one responsible for brawny hip-hop smashes like Eminem’s “No Love” and Joe Budden’s “Pump It Up.” But all of the Jersey native’s signature touches are there: jazzy piano, peppy bass lines, and, above all else, a sound steeped in 90s club and R&B. Blaze draws on a variety of textures to create a dance song much more sophisticated than that of his peers: airy synths float above a restless, lounge-y piano line, buttressed by classic house beats and just a dash of hip-hop bravado. Definitely a reason to get excited for Blaze’s upcoming EP, coming to you soon on Fool’s Gold.
Motion Sickness of Time Travel
The Perennials EP
Rachel Evans’ Motion Sickness of Time Travel project is like an untiring astronomist obsessed with finding the limits of the universe. One look at her Bandcamp page will reveal an average of nearly one release a month for the entirety of 2012, and already three different releases for January of 2013 alone. Her newest observation, The Perennials EP, is an investigation into that dance-floor urgency without all of the sweaty kids, not unlike some of the lighter moments of Actress’ 2012 masterwork, R.I.P. Yet it’s not an entirely new direction from MSOTT’s own 2012 self-titled breakout, more of a detour through an asteroid field. I can’t wait to see what February brings.
The Perennials EP is available now over at Boomkat. You can listen to a couple of the songs from the EP below.