THE HOUSE THAT GAHM BUILT
Atlanta rap is weird? FUCK YOU, YOU’RE WEIRD. No, but wait, Atlanta rap is weird, and over the years, the weirdness has bubbled up in the best, most unexpected places. Thug and Makonnen have been leading the hype for most of 2014, with help from Rome Fortune, Migos, OG Maco, et al., but in the last six months, the vibrant DIY collective behind Awful Records has been dropping some of the strongest rap in Atlanta and beyond, with releases like Father’s Young Hot Ebony and Ethereal’s Cactus Jack.
THE HOUSE THAT GAHM BUILT might not be the label’s most representative release, but it’s certainly its weirdest. And we here at TMT fuck with the weird. In contrast to the label’s typically (but certainly not always) pristine synth-driven productions, GAHM’s EP features barely-there rhythms shrouded in hiss, backward-swept loops beneath muffled vocals submerged in church reverb, and an off-kilter melodic sensibility whose bleak characteristics complement the minimal and ominous harmonic developments. OK, OK, OK, this isn’t the type of release that’ll lure hip-hop heads into Awful’s unique soundworld, but hopefully it’ll lead to more releases that keep us on our toes.
“Pure Duty” / “Silver Fog”
Coming this next Friday (October 31) is the night-beat, low-lingering new album Biker by Melbourne’s finest scum gathering crooners, EXHAUSTION. And as they rev-up their curled lips and slow-burning tips (you gotta roll it tighter), “Pure Duty” sets in and rattles at a calm volume of patience, witnessing those after-hour-scapes, flash-light driven excursions, and hidden locales only the natives know about. Yet, there’s something voyeuristic and hidden, both within the lyrics and scenic melt that the video “Pure Duty” beholds. Do you feel this mystery? Figure it out in the video below:
“Silver Fog” isn’t necessarily very much different in terms of that hazy vibe EXHAUSTION emits into ears, but it stands alone in both bass-bopping rythm and fading-fast, strung-out guitar work. Definitely more croon-moaning here too, which just makes it seem like everyone in EXHAUSTION worked to exactly as hard as their name sake, got WASTED, and had a jam-sesh recording. Everyone but the bassist because he was the designated driver. Even the drummer is possibly smashed out, yet proudly keeping a beat. And as experts at both conveying EXHAUSTION through sound and sonic meaning, “Silver Fog” creeped out and stayed stagnant until the night was over. Listen below to feel what I’m pipin’ about.
“Moshin In The Front” Feat. Cities Aviv (Prod by Naked)
Mmm, having gone NOWHERE but UP, Mykki Blanco continues her roll with “Moshin In The Front” through the help of vocal butcher Cities Aviv and trill production of by Naked. Last time I saw Mykki, people were BUGGING in the front, dancing up a sweat storm of joy, and bringing in New Years moments before DJ Rashad dawned the stage. Last time I saw Cities Aviv was at Body Actualized (an after-hours yoga studio venue) – who Jono Mi Lo opened for and spiked the vibe up MAX – and my pal Ritch and I walked in during his last song, and he just forced his way into a politely dancing crowd, pretty much pissing everyone off. Yet, it completely fit his vibe. Shit, the whole “Moshin In The Front” vibe is pretty much dead-pan for real with Mykki and Aviv. Only thing missing was some ACE production work from Naked, grumbling sound-off, crumbling beat, smacked-up snares… the instrumental pummels listeners alone. Then the vocal back-up comes and chews off heads.
Dunno what “via @UNOnyc 28.10” means in the SoundCloud, but I’m good on that. Just listen to “Moshin In The Front” below and feel the fight:
lee (asano+ryuhei) + Bugseed
It’s down right silly lee’s work hasn’t been covered by TMT yet. Yeah, I said it: silly. How have we overlooked his musical mosaics up until now? He’s only making some of the most original and dense sample based beats on this lil’ ol’ rotatin’ rock (see: this), and we’re just now getting around to covering it? Geesh louise! What the heck have we been doing? Living under a lil’ ol’ rotatin’ rock for Pete’s sake?
Well, that’s all in the past, so get over it, will ya? His latest album, ( u _ u ) (!), is slowly creeping its way into the hearts and minds of yungins all across this lil’ ol’ rotatin’ rock, so if you know what’s good for for you and don’t want to look like a schmuck, you’ll start paying attention to this man’s unique tunes. Basically, each one is a smorgasbord of layers and melancholy, mixing old soul shouts and one-shots of dialogue with snippets of broken melodies, vinyl scuffs and blemishes, as well as those much beloved post-Dilla drums everyone and their grandma seems to be employing these days. So, yeah, they all fucking rule.
Above, if your peepers and fingers dare to venture, is a video for “♨︎♨︎♨︎” (double !), which is off ( u _ u ). The song is a collaboration with Bugseed, and the video compliments the mood of the song pretty darn well, if I do say so myself… And I do. Milky!!!
The entirety of ( u _ u ) is streaming below, too. But more importantly, the album is being released by Odd Castles in a limited run of 100 cassettes, and you can preorder your copy right here.
for those who came from nothing
The haunting quality of leaving where you grew up and going somewhere much larger in size, quantity, and mystery is that there’ll continue to be a sweltering sense of wonder. How can it be that the only constant in all our lives is the noises were hear from nothing? That hum. The incessant hum that stops once entering and living within the confines of those actively suppressing a shattering of sounds, all unpredictable. Life stirs from life of the everything. And everywhere is exactly the spot humans want to be in. But to label Abdala omniscient would be a grave mistake.
Straight from the hustle and bustle of Catalão, Brazil, Abdala brings a similar journey for those who came from nothing, only it’s TOTALLY sonic-driven. There’s nothing like the nice flicker of noise or stirring drone – backed by beats akin to High Wolf and Mpala Garoo – to satiate that wandering demoned we all call a consciousness. As one nose, there’s never going back for those who came from nothing. It’ll continue to haunt you. Thus, Abdala made the perfect exercise to help y’all let it go. Most importantly, he ain’t gonna wine and dine you like all the hundreds of one-week acquaintances you’ve met. Abdala intends on sticking around for those who came from nothing. Below is a piece of sanity: