Prodigy x Alchemist
We here at TMT love a good quote. Just check out our Music Reviews section. I don’t write many reviews, but I do enjoy a quality quotation as much as the next person who takes what another person says or writes, wraps it in punctuation, and bases an article on it.
“The older you get, the more you mature musically and conceptually.”
– Jazz drummer Willie Jones III
For one reason or another, despite it being around for almost four decades and regardless (or perhaps, in some cases, because) of the sincerest efforts of its elder statesmen, hip-hop music is still seen as a young man’s art form, as if even its greatest contributors are somehow exempt from the above quote’s claim. Well, I for one don’t believe it. I refuse to accept that once an MC reaches the age of 35, he suddenly becomes incapable of recording an album as strong as or stronger than his previous work. And as further evidence of this disgruntled-old-man claim (in this case, coming to you from a disgruntled young man’s mind/keyboard), I submit to you, dear listener, the latest from Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and his longtime collaborator, Alchemist.
If this album’s 16 tracks show us anything, it’s that both artists, well into their 30s, are continuing to mature musically and conceptually, and that Alchemist’s current prolificacy just might go down in history as the type of run rap fans can tell their grandkids about. As if to hammer the latter point home, Albert Einstein features Action Bronson and Domo Genesis — with whom Al released 2012’s Rare Chandeliers and No Idols respectively — and Roc Marciano, with whom he’s “working on a project,” according to a recent interview.
Roc also says, “I bang the billionaire heiress on the terrace/ I’m from Terrace [Ave.] where sellers twist vanillas, switch bellas,” and that, I figure, is as good a quote as any to end this post.
• Prodigy: http://themostinfamous.com
A bionic agent known as T(erminato)(rolle)r sets out from the contemporary drone / avant scene to wormhole back to the early 80s and kill John C(onno)(arpente)r before he can spearhead the human uprising. Blessed with a supernatural capacity for drum machine communication, an internal ADSR interface, and a mainframe filled with decades of structural blueprints, the machine-human arrives in the past and discovers it exactly to its liking. “I can dig this,” it beeps, propping its feet up on an oil drum. It aborts the mission, nestles into an abandoned warehouse, and sets up its gear. If it can’t bring the head of the human messiah back to its robotic overlords, at least it can make them some dope tracks.
Austin’s Troller have repressed their self-titled debut in a fresh edition — available now on vinyl via Holodeck Records and CD via Handmade Birds. If you haven’t stepped into their reverb-drenched, beat-abused factory yet, do it now. Hear human howls and synth howls cohere across the stereo spread and drag us across the threshold into an alternate timeline where “pop music” caught the industrial mutagen early on and evolved accordingly. Turn off the lights and let the ambient interludes creep across your home. Turn up the volume when the synths burgeon and the rhythms complicate. Turn over the record when Side A ends. Turn over the record when Side B ends. Repeat until *the future* gets here.
So, I’m big on the word “Hi.” And “Hai[$100Nytemayrs]” by Kxn. is right up my alley. Like, when I try to freestyle with pals and at work, just ‘cause, it usually sounds like the beginning of “Hai[$100Nytemayrs].” Mix in with “How you doing? “That’s loud,” and “Okay, yes.” But when I saw a post last night from Leaving Records, I about geeked. And double cassette tape?! Anthology ‘bout to get LOUD on Jones Beach this summer. Composed of all of Kxnwledge’s Bandcamp releases from 2009-2013, both Stones Throw and Leaving Records are freshing physicals to support collectors of the CS and LP fanfares. Specifically, I got my eyes on this Leaving double tape. Yeah, also get ‘em quick, ‘cause June 11 went by fast, and come FriFri, Anthology getting bought out (it’s only available at Stones Throw right now)! Kxn.’s last tape Buttrskotch was bought up by a limited few faster than anyone beyond them knew. Anyhow, get on top this ASAP!
Fuck Off Dad
“Fuck Off Dad” [album stream]
…YEAH, IT’S THE FIRST BANDCAMP RELEASE FROM UNIT STRUCTURE SOUND RECORDINGS.
RIGHT, YOU-NIT, STRUCTURE, SOUND, RECORDINGS.
I DON’T KNOW, TWO GUYS FROM CANADA, FROM WHAT I CAN TELL IT’S A DRUMMER AND A GUITAR PLAYER AND THEY’RE BOTH COMPLETELY CRAZY.
YEAH, NO I KNOW, THERE’S LIKE A HALF-HOUR OF THIS.
NO NO, LATER ON THERE’S ONE THAT’S KINDA QUIETER.
I SAID THAT LATER ON THERE IS ONE THAT IS KIND OF QUIETER.
I KNOW, I LIKE IT TOO.
OK, SEE YA.
• Unit Structure Sound Recordings: http://unitstructuresoundrecordings.bandcamp.com
Nick Millevoi and Ed Ricart Quartet
It’s fairly understandable that the twain of noise rock and free jazz would find a way to meet, even if the spiritual/secular axes might be strange cohabitants — concern with cathartic pure sound and voluminous protest, coupled with allover rhythm, present a shared freedom-from, even if the freedom-for is less easily defined. Philly guitarist Nick Millevoi (Many Arms) and Ohio guitarist/bassist Ed Ricart (Matta Gawa, Hyrokkin) have their ears tuned to a variety of heavy forms, though their separate output differs heavily, with Ricart’s following a more outwardly spiritual path. Haitian Railroad is their first collaboration on wax, due out in July as a split release (LP/CS) between Gaffer and New Atlantis, and finds them joined by the metallic, paint-peeling saxophone playing of Travis Laplante (Little Women) and the acrobatic chug of drummer Ches Smith.
“Linive” marries knotty progressive tendencies and improvised clatter in a pretty remarkable way, Ricart’s frenetic fuzz a wild foil for Millevoi’s studied flintiness. It would be fair to say that they feed one another to the point that each musician enters an area they might skirt independently; the partnering of Ricart and Smith is also grounds for a powerful, controlled abandon within the rhythm section. Laplante emerges with a throaty wail at the halfway point, curiously opening up the ensemble to spare, incisive, and resonant exploration, at which point Smith takes the reins unaccompanied before the ensemble returns for a monolithic charge of seething sound. If “Linive” is any indication, the Millevoi-Ricart Quartet is about to drop a wonderfully unhinged stew of avant-garde jazz rock on an unsuspecting public.