Tuesday, January 20, 2009

BOX:: Indie Producer Edition, Vol. 1

Not to get all Demetri Martin on you, but it`s time to do a little trendspotting. Of late, we've been getting sent a number of "producer" albums, for lack of a better term (mostly instrumental, sometimes feature guest rappers/vocalists) that are clearly influenced by hip hop, but venture off into somewhat alternative territory.

For whatever reason, at the present moment, there seems to be a number of producers extending the boundries of hip hop into the realms of indie rock, more danceable music, or the starker sounds of industrial/electro. Or at least we seem to be getting sent a lot more of these albums - my post on Eliot Lipp's excellent recent album is a good example of this. Well far be it for me to miss a trend (even one that I myself am conjuring up), so over the last few weeks, I've collected some of these songs with the intention of doing an indie-producer edition of BOX!. And so here it is, let's get right to it.

Unless you're a rather serious hip hop nerd, you likely don't know DJ Signify, but he's a rather accomplished DJ/producer from Brooklyn. He came on the scene on the mid 90's with his mixtapes Signifyin' Breaks and Mixed Messages. From that, he went on to join the 1200 hobos and release his influential solo album Sleep No More, which featured the likes of Sage Francis, and the pride of Mount Uniacke, Buck 65. Signify is back with a new album, Of Cities, and if you're like me and not too familiar with him, this is a great place to start. It's a bit dark and ominous, but really quite good. Enjoy this teaser from the album, which features yer man Aesop Rock and the line "you aren't project gunplay, you're project runway, gentle and apprehensive 20 ways to Sunday" - which is decent.

Jamalski! No offence to ph10, I'm sure their album is solid, but this track is making a BOX! appearance thanks to former BDP member Jamalski's presence and the Ack's long-lasting love for his collabo with the Brand New Heavies - Jump And Move. That being said, I should mention that this is a ph10 track from their new album, Well Connected. ph10 is the production duo of Recone Helmut & SyBO, and they also call Brooklyn home. They have a mainly uptempo, big beat sound that reminds me of the late 90's and early 00's, but they also somehow have Jamalski on their record, and that is awesome. NY MC Pete Miser also does some solid work on this song, so he deserves a mention. But will this stay in the Ack's consciousness for a decade and also feature in a movie with dancing penguins? Only time will tell.

Recently we were sent a blurb about a new album from Anticon producer Odd Nosdam which is a soundtrack for the Elemental skate movie T.I.M.E. It sounds like an interesting project, with each song being tailored to the style of each rider, but unfortunately the promo jam we were sent is corrupt. So, that left me with 4 songs, and BOX! requires 5, so here is Fat Hooks from Odd Nosdam's '07 release Level Live Wires, the only song if his I could find. Enjoy!

Aether is the nom de twiddle of San Antonio based producer Diego Chavez. You know who else in San Antonio I wish was a producer? Bruce Bowen, so I wouldn't have to see him ever again. How current, do people still hate Bowen? Anyway, Chavez recently made a bit of noise with a remix for Swedish songstress Lykke Li, but he's also just released a solo album called Artifacts. Chavez has a definite hip hop influence in his work, thumping drums are found throughout Artifacts, but there's also a dreamy electronic side to his songs. This is on display on Makeshift Sanctuary, with big bottomed drums and a Q-Tip sample bringing the funk, but with a backdrop of synth sounds and strategically placed keys. This is a nice song.

Barcelona isn't likely a hotspot for instrumental hip hop with a serious world music bent, but it's where you'll (sometimes) find Filastine. This American-transplant is constantly touring, DIY style, and you can check some of his interesting adventures on his blog. As for sampling his recorded output, his new album Dirty Bomb will be out this year. His style, at least on this album, is a chaotic, bomb squad-esque mix of beats, vocal clips, sounds, and guest vocalists rapping or singing in different languages. While it might not be for everyone, if you're looking for something interesting and different, this could be for you.

Posted at 11:52 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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