Tag: Detroit MI

New Video: The Weird Personal and Deeply Human Hip-Hop of Quelle Chris

Quelle Chris is a Detroit, MI-based emcee and producer, who’s forthcoming full-length effort Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often is slated for a February 10, 2017 release through Mello Music Group and the album reportedly reveals the Detroit-based emcee and rapper as being among a growing list of self-aware emcees/artists, who have focused on the vacillating waves of self-confidence and self-doubt and the difficult (and seemingly endless) search for balance between the two; and in the case of Quelle Chris’s latest effort and that our lives are most often a complicated and delicate tightrope walk between our better angels and their worst devils — all while featuring guest spots from Roc Mariano, Elzhi, Homeboy Sandman, Denmark Vessey, Jean Grae and Cavalier, along with production assists from MNDSGN, Iman Omari, Chris Keys, Swarvy and The Alchemist.

Being You Is Great’s latest single “Calm Before” is a collaboration with Cavalier and Suzi Analogue that pairs Quelle Chris’ and Cavalier’s easy-going yet thoughtful rhyming over a jazzy sample of twinkling keys, stuttering drum programming and a chopped up and distorted sample of Suzi Analogue’s vocals for the song’s hook that sonically ties the song to a lengthy tradition of weird yet conscious hip-hop that includes A Tribe Called Quest and Shabazz Palaces among others but while subtly giving the song a tense, uneasy feel. After all, the song much like the material on the album focuses on the uneasy balance we attempt between our external self-image and our internal self-image and in a way that feels real and empathetic — all while reminding the listener that even your heroes fuck things up royally and aren’t as confident or as perfect as you think.

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As an obsessive music fan and as a blogger, I become a fan of particular labels, frequently admiring their rosters and their overall output — and over the years, I’ve become an enormous fan of Stones Throw Records, a Los Angeles-based indie hip-hop label, who have released the work of an impressive array of artists across hip-hop, soul and funk including the imitable Homeboy Sandman; Dam-Funk and his various collaborations with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Slave‘s Steve Arrington and others; the great Mayer Hawthorne, whose Impressions: The Covers EP landed at number on this site’s Best of List several years ago; Detroit‘s and arguably the country’s best contemporary emcee Guilty Simpson; hip-hop’s most beloved producer J. Dilla; Vex Ruffin; and counties others. The renowned label has recently started a subscription service: for $250 USD plus a one-time, flat-rate shipping fee, subscribers will received every new Stones Throw Records vinyl album released throughout 2017 as soon as the label receives them — and this includes singles, double albums, 12-inch singles, 45s, box sets and special edition reissues.

2017’s first vinyl release will be Madlib and J. Dilla’s Jaylib Remixes for the first time ever on vinyl — and it’ll include a previously unreleased track “Da Ruckus,” which was originally recorded back in 2002. Additionally, the first vinyl shipment will also include a bonus LP Oh No‘s Ultimate Beats & Breaks, a 17 track instrumental hip-hop album, which also marks the long-awaited return of the Ultimate Breaks & Beats series, a series which can trace it origins to the original series of DJ-friendly compilations that was released between 1986-1991 or so. Created by Lenny Roberts, a Bronx-based record collector, and studio editing partner “Breakbeat” Lou Flores, their Ultimate Breaks and Beats series came about as sampling was beginning to take shape. And as you can imagine, the series was instrumental to the increasingly sample-based hip-hop of the period; but also managed to influence electronic dance music and pop as DJs and producers started using the series to help them create some of their genre’s seminal works.

 

“Breakbeat” Lou Flores is reviving Ultimate Breaks and Beats — this time as a producer series, debuting with an album by renowned producer Oh No, which was made entirely from samples from the original UBB series. Check out the  first single off Oh No’s Ultimate Breaks & Beats, “The Troubled” a swaggering track that features twinkling piano chords, tweeter and woofer rattling beats, warm but distorted blasts of horns and vocal samples coming out of the ether. And while nodding at J. Dilla,  the track possesses a cinematic quality just underneath its crowd-pleasing hook.

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past two years or so, Detroit, MI-based electronic music duo Gosh Pith have added themselves to a growing list of mainstay artists across a wild variety of genes and styles — all while receiving a growing national profile for a sound that seamlessly meshes elements of hip-hop, electro pop, stoner rock, indie rock, dub, trap music, drum ‘n’ bass and other related genres and for being rather prolific. In fact, over the past two years, the Detroit-based duo have been experimenting and expanding upon the sound that first caught my attention and that of the blogosphere.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “In My Car,” a single that had the duo pairing tweeter and woofer rocking beats, stuttering drum programming, swirling electronics and brief bursts of guitar. And while being one of the more sultry songs they’ve released, it was an ode to just fucking around without any particular purpose and seeing where the night could take you.

The duo’s latest single “Medu$a” continues on a somewhat similar vein as twitter and woofer rock beats and rumbling low end, stuttering blasts of synth, industrial clang and clatter and a sinuous yet infectious hook paired with Josh Smith’s plaintive vocals. Lyrically the song  describes a dysfunctional and unrequited relationship in which the song’s narrator is absolutely lovesick while the object of his attention is materialistic and treats him unfairly — and is only into the song’s narrator for money and the promise of stuff. And while the song’s narrator knows that this person isn’t good for him, he’s acknowledging that he can’t seem to get away from her mysterious pull. Interestingly, while the song seemingly draws from the personal experiences of the songwriters, it may arguably be the most straightforward and radio-friendly song they’ve released to date.

 

Karriem Riggins is a Detroit, MI-born, Los Angeles, CA-based hip-hop producer and jazz drummer, who received national attention with the 2012 release of his solo debut effort Alone Together, which was released through renowned hip-hop tastemaker label Stones Through Records. Now, it’s been a little while since we’ve heard from him as a solo artist; however, Riggins has been pretty busy. Earlier this year, Riggins and J. Rocc collaborated on a Stones Throw Records’ Dungeon Session tribute to beloved producer — and fellow Detroiter J. Dilla. Along with that Riggins produced Common’s 11th full-length effort Black America Again.

Reportedly Riggins is working on a new and long-awaited full-length effort, slated for release sometime next year. In the meantime, Riggins released a new single “Bahia Dreaming,” which may presumably offer a taste of the new effort’s sound may be. Clocking in at a little over 2 minutes, “Bahia Dreaming” manages to be slickly produced synthesis of influences as the 3/4s of the song owes a sonic debt to J. Dilla with the song featuring twinkling and cascading synths and keys, skittering drum programming, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, and a chopped up, soulful vocal sample — that is until the last 40 seconds or so when the song suddenly turns into a bop era jazz composition bolstered and held together by tweeter and woofer rocking beats. Interestingly, the single reveals that Riggins has refined his sound — and in a way that possess an easy-going, cool as hell, strutting swagger paired with a dreamily thoughtful feel.

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a number of posts about Detroit, MI-based electro pop duo Gosh Pith. And in that period of time, the act has not only become a JOVM mainstay, they’ve seen a growing national profile for a sound that seamlessly meshes elements of hip-hop, electro pop, stoner rock, indie rock, dub, trap music, drum ‘n’ bass, indie rock and several other related  genres.

Interestingly, the duo’s guitarist and vocalist Josh Smith has a solo side project under the simple mononym Joshua. Influenced by Morrissey, Frank Ocean, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Jean-Luc Goddard, Jim Jarmusch and others, Smith’s first single as Joshua is a mash up/cover of The Weeknd‘s “Starboy” and Kiiara’s “Gold,” that he has dubbed “GOLDBOY.” Smith’s mash up/cover retains the glitchy and stuttering production of “Gold” but pairs it with Smith singing The Weeknd’s sultry lyrics. Admittedly, I’m not a big mainstream pop guy but after listening to both songs, my immediate thought was similar to the folks at All Things Go  — “Holy shit, those two songs work together. How come no one has done that before?” Sonically speaking, will further the reputation Smith developed while with Gosh Pith while gently and subtly breaking their mold.

Over the last two years or so,  Detroit, MI-based duo Gosh Pith have become JOVM mainstays while gaining a rapidly growing national profile for a sound that seamlessly meshes elements of hip-hop, electro pop, stoner rock, indie rock, dub, trap music, drum ‘n’ bass and other related genres. And over that period of time, the prolific duo have been experimenting and expanding upon the sound that first caught my attention and that of the rest of the blogosphere. The duo’s latest single “In My Car” pairs the tweeter and woofer rocking beats and stuttering drum programming of trap with swirling and atmospheric electronics and synths and brief bursts of guitar. Lyrically, the song is both a sultry come-on to a potential fling/lover that simultaneously possesses a sense of adventure  and restlessness about driving around with no particular purpose, except seeing wherever and however the  night goes; maybe you fuck around, get something to eat, listen to music, smoke weed, look at the stars — and maybe you hook up at the end of the night. Interestingly, the song may arguably be the most seductive and sensual song the duo have released to date.

 

 

 

New Video: The Psychedelic Sounds and Visuals of Samiyam’s Collaboration with Earl Sweatshirt

Animals Have Feelings’ third and latest single is a shuffling and kaleidoscopic collaboration with Earl Sweatshirt “Mirror” that also features a surreal array of obscure 60s psych rock and 70s soul samples paired with boom-bap beats paired with Earl Sweatshirt dexterous inner and out rhymes — some dealing with issues of identity vs. how others perceive you and more.